Spring has sprung and soon your garden will be filled with lush flowers and plants. Want a way to keep your garden filled with fresh greens AND get your kids active outside? Look no further. We’ve highlighted three of our favorite gardening ideas that kids can enjoy—now if only you could figure out how to get your tomatoes to grow as big as your neighbors’…
Before you get started, I’m sure your garden accessories may need an update— Taylor Gifts have what you need, whether you’re putting in a new patio fence or just planting a few new veggies.
And for your little one, you can find kids sized gardening tools here. So cute!
DIY Bird Feeders
Bird feeders are a really easy way for children to interact with the wildlife around them and hone their craftiness. I prefer to use old pop bottles and wooden spoons, but your options for containers are almost limitless.
First, you’ll need to get ahold of a few used plastic pop bottles (I like to use the 20 oz. ones). Cut holes around the middle of the bottle. Insert the wooden spoons so they go through the bottle and out the other side; this is where the birds will sit and the seeds will be displayed. After that, all you need to do is pick your bird feed. Depending on your area and the birds that inhabit it, you may need different types of seeds. Browse through Best Nest to see which particular mix is best for you.
Your children will love to see all the different types of winged animals that stop by for a quick snack. You can even make a game of identifying the types and traits of each bird. Just watch out for those pesky squirrels!
Crafty Plant Markers
Throw out those generic plant markers you may have gotten from your gardening store, it’s time to give your space some personal (and cute kiddy) flair. I like to use stones that are around 6 inches in diameter; these seem to be the ideal size for my garden. After you find the right stones, get out the paint and brushes (don’t forget the smocks in case it gets messy).
I usually label each stone and let my kids illustrate the plant/crop that is going to grow in that space. As the seedlings sprout, your children will be able to track the growing crops through their own drawings. How cool is that?!
Create a Kid’s Space Garden
If space is available, sectioning off a little part of your soil bed especially for your child is the best way to go. This will not only give them the most room to learn, but give them a sense of independence and responsibility.
TIP: To give them a boost, give them a small plot which receives the best direct sunlight; you’ll be setting them up for success.
Even though there are hundreds of options when planning your child’s garden, here are some of the crops we’ve found were the easiest to grow, have a relatively short growing season, and were a blast to harvest in the end. I usually get my seeds from a local nursery, but if I’m looking for an uncommon seed I go to Park Seed.
Sunflower: This is at the top of our list because every kid seems to love how big they get. Make sure to plant confectionary sunflower seeds (also known as non-oil seeds). This type are specifically grown for eating. After a month, they should reach two feet tall; after enough time in the sun, the flowers will reveal the yummy seeds! Roast and salt them for a great summer snack.
Snow Peas: Great to eat right off of the vine, these peas will be ready to snack on in around two months.
Nasturtium: These beautiful flowers are our go-to when we need to add some color to our garden. The red, orange, and yellow blossoms will bud within about 60 days. Even better, they generally repel pests and are edible.
After you take a few steps to get your child involved in the garden, you may see that they have a natural green thumb! Keep providing resources for them to learn about their environment, and more importantly, love Mother Earth.