Five Ways to Get Kids to Love Gardening

April 23rd, 2010 by Dionna | 4 Comments
Posted in Children, Compassionate Advocacy, Eclectic Learning, Ecological Responsibility and Love of Nature, Environmentalism, Guest Posts, Homey Goodness, Infants, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Preschoolers, Teens, Toddlers

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Today I am happy to welcome Tara, who has written a guest post on five ways to get your kids to love gardening. Tara publishes GoGreenStreet.com, a light green living blog dedicated to offering tips on eco-conscious living. Mother of five beautiful kidlets, ages 3 months to 12 years, Tara loves all things eco-chic and natural. She considers herself “light green” among the shades of being green and enjoys organic coffee to keep her going. Visit GoGreenStreet.com today for more tips on going green!

gardeningMost kids have a natural “green thumb”- for a few minutes, anyway. You can encourage your kids to love gardening by making it fun, and by selecting plants that appeal to them. In this guide, you’ll learn how to select plants that will keep your little gardeners coming back for more.

1. Kids are attracted to things that have weird names or odd features, and plants are no exception. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor plant choices that fit the bill- like spiderwort and tapeworm plants (they have long, ribbon-like leaves that look like real tapeworms).  If you let your kids choose plants that they are fascinated by, they will be more likely to want to take care of them.

2. They’ll also be more likely to eat their veggies  if they helped to grow them. However, they’ll be no more likely to want to weed broccoli than they are to ask for a second helping of it at dinner time, so you should let them choose vegetables that they like.

3. Things like watermelons and sunflowers naturally draw kids in, and they’ll have fun eating the melons and the sunflower seeds when they’re ready. Pumpkins are another fun choice- they’re easy to grow and fun to harvest. Plus, when Halloween comes around, they’ll have the best jack-o-lantern around!

4. For those that don’t really like vegetables and fruits, you can help them grow a flower garden. Choose flowers with low maintenance and bright colors, like chrysanthemums, petunias, and daisies. Plant them all together like an English garden, or in window boxes. Your kids will love seeing their plants grow a little more every day.

5. Start a butterfly garden, or choose plants that attract small animals.  Sunflowers will encourage birds to come around, and brightly colored, nectar filled blooms will attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Kids are born with a fascination for the natural world, and gardening is a great way to encourage that curiosity. A child’s first garden should be filled with plants that are easy and fun to care for. If you make it fun for them, they’ll be much more likely to end up with a green thumb later on in life.

Photo credit: DDA604

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For more ideas on ways to encourage a love of dirt in your little ones, be sure to check out the post on Kieran’s fun flower gardens, Amber’s guest post on gardening with little helpers, and my guest post on Strocel.com that presents 10 unique gardening activities for kids.

4 Responses to:
"Five Ways to Get Kids to Love Gardening"

  1. Amber   AmberStrocel

    I have definitely found that my kids are more likely to eat veggies from our garden. And honestly, I am too. Fresh veggies taste WAY better!

  2. Tara   thewahm

    Hi Amber,
    Fresh veggies are way better, 100% better! My kids love to pick tomatoes and cucumber to eat right away.

  3. Dionna   CodeNameMama

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the mums we put in our rainbow garden. They are, without a doubt, the brightest flowers in our “rainbow” – I need to find more of the rainbow colors in mums next year!
    Thanks again for the post, Tara!

  4. Tara   thewahm

    Hi Dionna,
    I love mums, just can not seem to grow them here in GA. When we were in NY and VA, had no problems, I guess it is the heat and weather here.

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