Get Their Hands Dirty
- What: Gardening with kids
- When: Springtime
- Why: Fun, low cost, hands on learning
- Where: Your home
Does your child need some practice taking care of living things? Want a trial run for your child before committing to an animal? Instead of starting with a pet, try a plant. If they can handle the responsibility of looking after something simple, then you can move up the food chain.
Kids of almost any age will enjoy getting out in the dirt to dig and plant. Put them to work and get some things knocked off your to do list, too. Don’t have a garden? No problem. A packet of seeds costs very little, and you can use leftover yogurt cups or other containers to begin windowsill container gardens.
Sunflower seeds prove popular with kids, or you can try more productive plants like tomatoes or peppers. Or go purely for pleasure and pick some flower seeds in your child’s favorite color. You can also get plenty of fun gardening sets made just for kids. With a little dirt and a container, you have all you need for a quick project you can enjoy together. If your kid forgets to water their plants, no big deal. You can show them what happens and try again.
Once your kid’s plants outgrow their containers, help them transplant them. A good set of gardening tools works not only for plant projects, but also in the sandbox or at the beach for the rest of the season. Kids enjoy seeing the fruits of their labor, and looking at the roots and other parts of plants normally hidden beneath the soil. Kids can also help pull weeds, and learn to identify plants. If you have your own garden, give them a portion of the plot to tend, and invite them to take care of their plants when you care for yours.
Want an even lower maintenance option? Try a tiny cactus. They need very little water or attention, but can grow just about anywhere inside. No matter which route you choose, letting your kids get their hands dirty benefits everyone.