“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” Since discovering this message from David Sobel, a writer with a focus on place-based education, all of us at My Green Space have been advocates for this idea.
To get children engaged with nature, growing their own food, and (hopefully!) eating their greens, we have created a list of ideas on how to make gardening fun for kids. While there is value in children playing games using different mediums of technology, bringing them back to their roots through gardening will give them a whole new skillset and deeper appreciation for the food they eat and the world they live in.
By providing space specifically meant for your child or children’s own garden, they are more likely to be engaged in tending to their plants than if they are growing in a common area. It doesn’t have to be a lot of space; just enough so they have independence.
Image from simplesisterblog.blogspot.ca
- Snow peas
- Radishes (how beautiful are these colourful ones below?!)
Image from Family Food Garden
3. Theme gardens (characters, animals, dinosaur)
Does your child love Finding Nemo? Set up characters and sea-themed objects in the garden. You can take this in so many directions, from a barnyard theme to a fairy haven… the options are endless!
For a Mini Toadstool tutorial to put in your fairy garden, have a look at this how-to from The Magic Onions!
4. Engage with teachers at schools to push gardening in the classroom
From speaking to different parents and educators, there appears to be a huge push for community gardens at schools, at least in Vancouver. If your child’s school already has one, get involved! If not, you can start the conversation to start teaching children about growing their own food in the classroom setting.
5. Try out container gardening
If your space is limited, plant individual vegetables or flowers in pots, which can be decorated by your kids before they are filled. For another neat way to reuse old or unwearable rainboots, turn them into garden pots!
Idea from homicraft.com
6. Build a scarecrow!
Should your child or children start to lose interest or be disengaged in the process, have a fun craft day and build a scarecrow together! Place the scarecrow in the garden, and with luck, your child will want to get outside to spend time with their new friend and plants.
7. Plant a pizza herb garden
There’s no doubt about it: kids love pizza (who doesn’t?!). Plant a garden of basil, rosemary, and other ingredients, and pick from it when you make homemade pizzas with your children. It’ll be a hit, we promise!
8. Transition from seed-to-table
We encourage growing from seeds when teaching children how to garden. This will enable your kids to see how the life cycle begins. You can plant seedlings in eggshells to directly transplant into your outdoor (or larger indoor) space.
Find the tutorial for eggshell seedlings at crafthubs.com
Alternatively, we found this great idea from apartment therapy; turn your rotisserie chicken containers into mini greenhouses if the weather is too cold outside!
What are your tried and true ways of getting your kids into gardening? Please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below! We hope you've enjoyed this post and are feeling inspired to get your children growing their own food, too.
My Green Space
Grow your own food. In any space. No experience required.
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