Having fun with kids in the garden plants seeds for the future
It's always wonderful to bring children into the garden. Mine were harvesting treats as soon as they could walk. Both of my sons would feast on snow peas as the summer began. They also had their own garden beds. Later when my daughter arrived, she had the same connection in the garden.
The garden teaches many lessons for parents and children alike. When working with kids in the garden, be patient and let them make mistakes. I like using big seeds like beans, cucumbers, peas and sunflowers. They are easier for them to handle. Don't worry if they aren't spaced right, either leave them be or come back and thin when the kids aren't around.
My kids fell in love with vegetables by gardening. They embraced all sorts of interesting things harvested from the garden. To this day my youngest son (31) asks if I'm planting kohlrabi, hoping to get a few to munch on when they're ready.
There are some fun ways to get younger kids into gardening, too. Crayola's My First Garden series has everything a child needs to get some seeds going. They offer a Flower Greenhouse Grow Kit, too. They are simple to use and a fun project for the family.
Emma Biggs has written a wonderful gardening book for kids called "Gardening With EmmA." It's filled with kid-to-kid stories and has lots of with wonderful ideas and practical advice for gardeners of all ages. It's a fun, informative read and one of my favorites for sure.
How about some wrapping paper embedded with seeds for the kids? Flowering Seeded Gift Wrap is pretty and after opening their presents, children can plant the paper, creating a nice wildflower garden.
Containers are a great way to share the love of gardening with children. A packet of radishes and lettuce will sprout quickly and can be enjoyed in just a couple of weeks. Thin the plants together and nibble on them for a fresh, tasty treat.
In a busy world where kids and adults don't put down their phones, a little time together in the garden (sans electronics) goes a long way toward making a lifetime of memories.
Doug Oster is editor of Everybody Gardens, a website operated by 535Media, LLC. Reach him at 412-965-3278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See other stories, videos, blogs, tips and more at everybodygardens.com.
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