There can be days when you want your kids to not be cooped up indoors and just enjoy the outside world. Well, what better way to do this than by engaging them in garden work that is not only educational but gives nutritious vegetables in the comforts of your own backyard.
Creating a vegetable garden sounds hard, and adding your kids to the equation may sound harder, but with a few tips you can easily teach them the importance of food, eating them, and what they do to their bodies.
If you’re starting a new garden, here are some easy plants you may want to consider growing:
The list goes on, but once you’ve picked your desired plants then go ahead and check if it’s feasible to grow in your area. When gardening with kids, a great tip is to consider which ones they usually eat, so the activity is more engaging for them.
Here are the ways you can try in creating a vegetable garden with your kids:
#1. Read on books about gardening and growing food
This first step is the most crucial one of the gardening process. You cannot just simply ask a child to come with you to a soil garden, so first feed them with knowledge of how food is made, and how you can actually make food at your backyard. Let them understand the basics of how sunlight, soil, and water can feed them so they’ll put the same care when the growing season is happening.
#2. Paint some stone markers or flags
With kids you can never go wrong with an art activity, so before you get to planting ready some flat stones, tiny flags, and some paint. Create a label for each plant you want to grow, this will be used to mark the soil so that the kids can easily check on them.
Idea: Painting garden rocks
#3. Recycle watering bottles
While you’re at the stage of crafting, get some old plastic bottles and repurpose them by using them as watering cans. You may also want to paint on it, or color code it for each child. Having a personal touch will make the watering activity more engaging for them.
#4. Create a bean tepee
Tepees are the ultimate play place for any child, a shelter in the comfort of your own backyard. You can create a bean tepee with some strings and wood frames. Let the pots planted with beans serve as the base of the tepee, and ask your kids to water it so that they see the daily growth and crawling of its vines.
#5. Plant the ones they chose
As mentioned earlier, you may want to purchase seeds or plants that your kids actually eat. From your bunch of selected ones, have each kid pick out at least two of their preferred fruit or vegetable and explain the process that they only get to have the food if they take care of it enough. Fruits such as strawberries can be a great way to start their gardening activity, and then later on moving to vegetables.
#6. Have them regularly monitor the garden
With the plants properly planted and markers correctly placed, it is now your job to oversee things on a daily basis. Make time for a designated gardening schedule, maybe at least 5 minutes a day. During this time ask your kids if they can water with you, and of course talk a little to the plants. By making it a daily habit, you are making them understand the difficulty of growing food and in the end the importance of not wasting food.
The greatest benefit of creating a vegetable garden with your kids gives you access to organic produce in the comforts of your own home. It may be time-consuming but in the long run, you should be proud as you’ve instilled values to your kids that will make them respect food itself. If you like this article please do not forget to share it so other mommies and daddies can take part in this fun activity. If you have any other ideas about gardening with kids that you may want to share, don’t be shy and leave us a comment below.