For the last several years, our family has rented an organic garden plot through our township. What a blessing this has been! Not only does organic gardening expose our kids to virtually limitless learning opportunities, but it also provided our family with plenty of healthy and fresh organic veggies! Think there’s little the kids can do to help out around the garden? Think again! Here are more than 10 useful ways the kids can help out, learn a bit of responsibility, get active outdoors, and become closer to Mother Nature in the process:
1. Watering plants — This is even more fun if the kids have a small watering can of their own.
2. Weeding (with supervision) — Teach the kids how to recognize plants that are weeds, and they’ll soon be able to help keep the weeds out so plants can have proper air-flow.
3. Loosening Soil — Kids love using mini cultivators to keep the soil loose, and keeping the soil loose is probably one of the most important gardening chores.
4. Planting Seeds — I love having the kids involved in planting seeds because it helps to give them an idea of how long it takes a plant to fully grow, and fosters a love of nature.
5. Harvesting — This is always a favorite with my kids! You can start by having them harvest tomatoes, and work on color recognition skills by asking them to only pick the ones that have turned red.
6. Digging holes for seedlings — Another favorite gardening chore for my kids. A small kid-sized shovel works well for this.
7. Laying down straw or compost — Explain to your kids how straw helps to keep the soil moist during dry periods, and compost makes the soil rich in nutrients.
8. Making seed markers — It’s always helpful to know which seeds are planted where, and this can be a quick craft project for a rainy day.
9. Decorating the garden — Try making garden stones, or banners to help decorate the garden and make lots of great memories together.
10. Collecting seeds for next year’s garden — Some easy ones for kids to start with include marigold flowers, peas, and green beans.
11. Wash garden tools and flower pots — Get out the hose and ask the kids to wash up the (non-sharp) garden tools.
12. Start seeds indoors — We love reusing Stonyfield yogurt containers for seed starters, and the kids love watching their seedlings sprout!
13. Help with keeping a garden journal — Consider a disposable camera for your child to photograph and document how the garden grows throughout the Summer.
How do you make gardening a family affair?