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Children love the outdoors. They love digging in the dirt and are curious learners. One of my kid’s favorite activities is working in their kids vegetable garden.
Teaching a child how to grow a garden teaches them independence. Gardening teaches them they are not dependent on fast food, restaurants, or even the grocery store. Gardening also teaches children the importance of work. There are so many benefits to gardening with kids, check some of them out here. The importance of gardening at home is immeasurable.
✔Here’s a link to a great vegetable garden planner you can print right out and use at home! So cute!
Kid friendly vegetable garden
About 10 years ago, I decided to add gardening to my preschool curriculum. The garden can teach kids so many things. Click here to see how we started our preschool garden at Little Sprouts.
How you start a kids vegetable garden will depend on the space you have and the time you have to devote to it. If you want to do very simple indoor growing to start, you can grow a few herbs in a sunny windowsill. They are easy to grow.
You can also start with bucket gardening. It’s easy to manage, takes up little space outside, and is a lot of fun. If you have a little bit of garden space outside, you can make a small patch or raised bed to garden in.
Start small. And build from there. You can grow a ton in a 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 foot raised bed. There are many benefits to building raised beds. You can also build them with straw bales.
Once you have a spot picked out that gets at least 6-8 hours of full sun per day, and has access to water easily, you can start dreaming.
Check out the soil if you’re going to garden in the ground and make sure it has great soil structure. If you are building a raised bed, you can build soil structure in the mix you put in it. Don’t just use topsoil. You’ll be disappointed. Here are the dirty secrets to soil success.
For a printable lapbook to teach kids about the life cycle of plants, check this out.
And check this article for the easiest plants for kids to grow. It will give you a great place to start. Then once you master a few of these, you can move to some more difficult things.
Some things that might help once you decide where you’re growing, how you’re growing, and what you’re growing are:
And don’t forget to check out this month-by-month garden planting guide. It’s for zone 7, but if you are in a lower zone, you can wait a couple of weeks longer to start each type of plant and if you are in a higher zone, you can start a couple of weeks earlier. It’s a great tool for any zone. It will tell you if you need seeds, plants, or other starts for the different types of fruits and vegetables too.
Check out this printable garden journal for kids from Mama on the Homestead. So cute!
For even more information, here are the 4 easy steps to building a children’s garden for your kids.
Gardening for toddlers
When gardening with toddlers, there are a few things that will help the situation go more smoothly. Choose large seeds like beans, squash, and corn that kid’s tiny fingers can grasp when they are still learning and developing fine motor skills.
As with all the young children in the garden, remember that it’s not going to be super tidy and perfect. There is a lot of chaos in gardening with young children. The younger they are, the more there will be.
Plant seedlings that kids can handle well and have success with as opposed to really small seeds. And buy extras because there will be accidents. Be prepared for young kids to pick something that isn’t ready or even pull up full plants that you were trying to grow. They get excited, and they don’t have knowledge until you teach it to them. So bring along your patience and understanding!
Check out this super fun garden bingo game for kids!
Kids herb garden
Herbs are a great crop to grow with kids. They are great sensory plants as well as are hardy. They are tolerant of drought, don’t need fertile soil, and are generally successful with little care. There are all kinds of amazing scents in different kinds of herbs as well.
Sensory garden for kids
Growing a sensory garden for kids is a great way to stimulate all of their senses in the garden. Stimulating senses helps brain connections form that are pathways for future learning so the more connections children form early on, the better their learning is later. You can check out the super easy steps to build a small sensory garden for your kids here.
If you’re like me and you haven’t found success in gardening before, here is another tool you can use. This beginning gardening video can help you understand the basics you’ll need to succeed and you can do like I did and learn right alongside the kids! I’m still doing it 10 years later. The garden teaches me something every day.