Children's projects Gardening

Planting the Garden With Your Children—Fun and Benefits

Photo: Rawpixel, depositphotos

By Diane H. Wong

Gardening is a popular hobby for people of any age, and it is an excellent activity for children. It helps them learn, develop skills, and enjoy exciting games in the open air. Gardening helps both the physical and cognitive development of younger children and has great educational potential. The experts from point out that gardening is simply an excellent opportunity to spend quality time together with your children, teach them more efficiently, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

But before you start, let’s consider some aspects that will help you to make the most of this activity.

Where to Start: Indoors or Out?

Little girl and mother sowing seeds.
Children can sow some seeds indoors, others directly in the garden. Photo: bubutu, depositphotos

The point is simple: garden with your child, you need to have a garden. If you own or rent a house with even a small backyard, that’s excellent. This option will allow you to select and plant different plants and vegetables. However, if you are living in an apartment and no outdoor space is available, you can still grow plants indoors, in pots. This option can also be convenient for engaged gardeners with their own yards when the season is not suitable for outdoor gardening.

Gardening indoors is useful too as you can teach your child some elementary things and actions before you “scale them up” in the garden outside when the time comes. Besides, if your child loves gardening, doing some of it indoors means both of you won’t miss the hobby in the winter.

What Can Children Do in the Garden?

Little girl watering garden with green plastic watering can.
There are many tasks children can do in the garden, including watering. Photo: Maxim Kostenko, depositphotos

Under the parent’s supervision, children can carry out a lot of gardening tasks. The youngest kids should perform the simplest ones, like planting seeds, watering plants or picking flowers or vegetables when they are ready. Older children can do more complex tasks like pulling weeds, digging, preparing the soil or transplanting.

You need to decide which activities are fine for your child. Discover what your kids do and enjoy, and help them. Gardening is one of those activities with tremendous psychological value. Children feel pride in their efforts when they realize how they helped the plants grow and how their work contributed to producing the results.

Which Plants to Choose for Planting With a Child?

First of all, consider which type of garden you will have. Are you going to plant flowers only? Or you are more into growing herbs and vegetables? The most universal solution is a mixed garden that will combine the flowers, herbs, and vegetables together.

Children love big, bright flowers, and you can pick up those blossoming at different times of the season. That way, the garden will always please the eye. Vegetables and herbs can also be of exciting shapes and colors. Experts at note that children will see the practical results of their work and harvest ripe berries and mature vegetables when the right time comes.

When selecting plants for your garden, pay attention to the following options:

Young boy holding sunflower.
Easy-to-grow sunflowers are always popular with children. Photo: T. Tomsickova, depositphotos
  • Sunflower. It’s a big and beautiful flower that grows fast. The initial seed can turn into a tall stem within a month. Add one more month, and you’ll see the buds unfurling! This plant doesn’t require complicated care and your child will enjoy watching as it grows.
  • Nasturtiums. Easy to grow and beautiful, these flowers are children’s favorites. In about 50 days after planting the seeds, they start to blossom. Moreover, these flowers can be included in fresh salads to add color, which is also great fun for children.
  • Cherry tomatoes. First, you can sow the seeds with them indoors. Later, you can transplant the seedlings into the outdoor garden, together with the kids. This all takes about 2 months. Soon you’ll be together picking sweet, ripe fruits.
  • Lettuce. If your child hates salads, growing greens can help change their mind. Lettuce is quick—the seeds need about a week to germinate. You can focus on growing a full head of lettuce or just harvest individual leaves. Usually, children will want to taste the greens they have grown themselves.
  • Pumpkin. This big orange vegetable is a sight for sore eyes. Seeds germinate about one week after sowing and grow fast. In about three months, you’ll have pumpkins to harvest. Prepare one for Halloween with your child, and don’t forget that the flesh of the pumpkin is tasty and nutritious.

How to Engage Children in Planting the Garden

Two children holding gardening tools.
Quality tools are solid enough for children to use. Photo: sbworld7, depositphotos
  • Give your child high-quality tools, ones that won’t break easily. Also, emphasizes that you should explain to the child how to operate those tools correctly to work effectively and not to get hurt. Check and make sure that the children understand. But still, you must always watch your kids when they are handling tools.
  • Explain why you do this or that task. Children learn much better when they understand what and why they perform. Planting the garden can become more exciting for them when they know the purpose and how to achieve it. Seeing the results of their efforts is a big motivation.
  • Harvest seeds for sowing. Gathering seeds from flowers and vegetables can be a separate and fun task. When you use them to grow new plants, it will be a valuable lesson for children, showing them “the circle of life” in nature. Demonstrate the full process, from a harvested seed to the ripe fruit.
  • Praise your children for their work and show it off to friends and family. Take photos of the flowers and vegetables grown and harvested by the child. Decorate the room with those flowers and cook dishes from those vegetables and greens. Always pay attention to the children’s work and the results obtained. It’s the best motivation for a child to remain involved.

Planting the garden with your children will be great fun for you both. It amuses and teaches your children, developing their knowledge and practical skills in many fields. It is also one of the best means of relieving stress, which is priceless in our lives. So, don’t ignore this activity if it is available for you. Gardening brings fun and health.     

About the Author

Diane H. Wong is a content team manager. Moreover, she is a paper writer, so she prefers to spend her spare time writing interesting and educational articles and blog posts. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

3 comments on “Planting the Garden With Your Children—Fun and Benefits

  1. Adrian H

    What a delightful article! Planting the garden with children not only fosters a love for nature but also offers valuable learning experiences. As parents, we sometimes need a helping hand with our busy schedules. If you ever find yourself in need of some support with academic tasks, consider exploring the option to pay for essays after checking the most reliable services. This way, you can focus on enjoying those precious moments with your little gardeners while ensuring academic success. Happy gardening and learning!

  2. All for getting kids outside and into the garden. The earlier they become interested in Nature the more likely they are to continue with similar interests as adults.

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