Engaging kids in the garden

Avery Marcott - Burpee Marketing
Friday, July 7, 2017

An extra set of helping hands in the garden never hurts, even if they are tiny hands. Engaging children in gardening at a young age can help foster their curiosity for nature and provide bonding time to create lasting memories. Here are some tips when inviting kids into the garden:

Think Small
Although you may already have your own gardening space, adding a small herb garden for your little one can help introduce them to gardening. Pick plants that grow fast (herbs, lettuce) or plants they want to eat (strawberries, tomatoes). For very young children, start with large-size seeds that are easier to handle and plant (cucumber, beans). Even provide their own small gardening tools to use while working alongside you.

Easy-to-Grow Plants: Plants with Big Seeds:
Radish Sunflowers
Lettuce Beans
Carrots Peas
Herbs Pumpkins

Teach Caring
Engage kids each day in the garden to teach them the act of caring. Plants don’t grow on their own; they need to be tended each day. Dedicate time to foster family bonding experiences. Some of my favorite memories growing up were in my family garden harvesting raspberries with my mom or directing my siblings to help me with garden tasks. Spending a little time each day will help keep them engaged in each process of gardening, from seed to harvest, to the table.

Show The Reward
Share the full process of gardening to help kids recognize the reward in hard work. By growing something they are excited to eat they may be more eager to put in the work to reap their delicious reward. After harvesting, let them follow you into the kitchen. Have them help wash and cut the veggies and add them into the recipes. This will help your gardening efforts come full circle in their eyes.

Children will reap the benefits of gardening with their family far after the harvest is complete. Creating family memories and engaging them in the outdoors will be something you both can benefit from. Plant smiles, Grow laughter and Harvest love. Do all this with the help of Burpee.

Article originally appeared on BurpeeHomeGardens.com. See website for complete article licensing information.