How does that saying go? “Give your kid dinner, and you feed him for a day. Teach a kid to garden, and he can grow you some spaghetti marinara.” (Yeah, something like that...) In all seriousness, there’s no better time than the present to get kids interested in gardening. Besides the obvious upsides, like enjoying the fresh air, taking a break from screen time and the nurturing of a lifelong hobby, there are countless pros to teaching kids how to cultivate the earth (yes, even if it’s a tiny 3x4 plot next to the compost pile). Here, four easy gardening projects and the tools you’ll need to get started.
4 Easy Kids Gardening Projects to Get Them Started
First, Gather The Right Supplies
Finally, we’re giving you an excuse to buy a mini pink watering can. Ask the kiddos to help you pick out their own tools so they feel ownership over the project and inspired to create something they’re proud of (and don't worry about schlepping around town, these are all available online). Here’s what you’ll need:
- A nutrient-rich soil like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil that’s suitable for growing veggies, herbs or fruit
- Gardening gloves, like these adorable monster-themed ones
- A spade, we love the one in this color-coordinated mini tool kit
- A watering can (this one is shaped like an elephant...need we say more?)
- Seeds or starter plants (we recommend Bonnie starter plants to cut down on the waiting time)
Start Your Very Own Victory Garden
One unexpected (but happy!) consequence of our current social state: the resurgence of “victory gardens,” aka DIY vegetable and fruit plots. The idea has seen a big search uptick online and refers to planting enough produce to provide your own personal source of food so you don’t have to rely on external resources. They originated back in WWI and WWII (opportunity to also make this a history lesson? check). Get the kids involved by helping them start their own—then reap the benefits of fresh tomatoes for your next caprese salad.
Grow “french Fries” In Your Backyard
Hey, if it takes bribing your kids with learning how to grow their favorite comfort food, we’re all for it. Your kids will be off the iPad and you’ll be thrilled to find a new way to enjoy the fresh air during these weird times of social-distancing. You’ll need garden tools, soil, a potato-growing bag and old potatoes. Then, follow these three simple steps et voila!—as the French (fries) would say.
Create A Mini Fairy Garden
Using sticks and stones gathered from around the yard, have your fantasy-loving boy or girl build a mini fairy garden, complete with a stepping stone walkway leading up to the fairy’s mansion (aka a new or handmade bird house that’s been decorated for the newest occupant). Plant tiny tree-like succulents nearby and use moss to cover the “front lawn” of the lucky pixie homeowner.
Grow Seeds Indoors Using An Egg Carton
An easy way to grow your own starter plugs is to use egg shells or an empty cardboard egg carton. Help your youngster add a bit of soil to each egg cup, burying a seed about halfway down. Remind her to keep the soil moist by watering it a little each day. When the plants are big enough to be moved outdoors into their own plot, just cut apart the egg carton to plant each one individually. You won’t need to take the seedlings out of their carton cups, as the cardboard will break down in the soil as the plant grows.