Your kids mean the world to you.
But you worry about them.
Because they face a lot of problems in today’s world.
The food they eat is unhealthy which can make them sick. They face a lot of stress and anxiety at school. And they seem to lack the confidence they need to grow.
Is there some way to help them with these problems?
The good news is that gardening for kids can help overcome most of these issues. Let’s look at the best way you can help your kids grow their garden and change their life.
Benefits of gardening for kids
Gives kids good exercise
Kids have been facing the obesity epidemic because they’re not getting enough exercise.
Gardening is a good way of helping them get some good physical activity. This includes tasks like watering, harvesting, weeding, moving soil, and pushing things around.
This helps the kids burn calories, work out their muscles, and keeps them active and engaged.
Kids enjoy eating healthy
Many kids don’t like to eat vegetables. That’s because there’s junk food that tastes good while store-bought vegetables don’t.
That changes when kids begin to grow their own food. They enjoy eating what they grow.
This helps kids get the nutrients, vitamins, and fiber from fruits and vegetables. This helps protect them from obesity, blood pressure problems, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
Helps develop analytical abilities
Gardening encourages kids to plan their tasks in the garden. This helps improve their planning and reasoning skills.
You can encourage kids to ask the right questions like what’s the right soil, which spot is the best to grow.
Kids improve their math skills when they have to measure the plants they’re growing, the amount of rainfall the garden receives, and the number of fruits and flowers on the plants.
It also helps them learn science when they need to understand the plants, check the weather patterns, and insects in the garden.
Kids can gain confidence
The best way to gain confidence is to plan something and then achieve it. Gardening helps kids plan a vegetable garden and harvest their own food.
This is the best way for them to gain confidence in taking up a task and finishing it. It also helps them learn about patience and responsibility.
Helps reduce stress
Kids tend to be stressed out a lot these days due to the pressure of modern society.
Gardening can help them learn to be alone and stay at peace. This gives them a calming effect and lowers stress.
They learn how to be at peace and relax which carries over into their adulthood.
Gardening also helps them reduce anxiety and fight depression. It can trigger positive emotions in them to help with this.
How to get kids into gardening
The good thing is that kids enjoy going outdoors and playing around. But there are some kids that don’t.
Maybe the environment is new to them. Or they’re afraid of getting dirty. Or it’s the insects that they don’t like.
You need to check what could be the problem that can prevent them from going outdoors. A good set of gardening clothes including gloves can help them avoid the dirt.
It’s also useful to help them learn more about gardening and get them interested. Once you give them ownership of their own garden, they will be more involved in it.
You need to help them understand about planning, growing, and maintaining the garden.
Give them the confidence they need by showing them how to start, what tools to use, and how to work in the garden.
Help them learn about plants they find interesting so they can be more engaged in the garden.
You can tempt them to visit the garden by growing it based on a theme or activity of the kids’ favorite movie or cartoon characters.
If they enjoy growing and eating vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, peas, strawberries, then you can help them grow those plants.
Get them to use their imagination and grow a garden that contains things like gnomes, gates, fountains, and mazes.
You can arrange for fun games in the garden such as giving prizes to kids who grow the most tomatoes, or the biggest carrots.
Some safety guidelines for kids gardening
It’s important to plan the garden for kids so they don’t suffer from any injury or illness.
You can begin by testing the soil in your garden with the help of your Local Extension Service. Make sure it does not contain chemicals like pesticides, lead, or other heavy metals.
Ensure that it’s not possible for such contaminants to enter the garden through some water runoffs.
You’re going to need to water the plants in your garden. Ensure that the water you get is free from contaminants.
If you’re using tap water, it’s probably safe compared to sources like ponds or rivers. But it never hurts to get it tested before using.
You can use rain barrels to collect rainwater and then water your plants with it. It’s the purest form of water without chemicals. But make sure it’s not polluted.
Don’t use manure in a garden for kids. This can contain pathogens and does not matter if the manure is fresh or aged.
It’s better to use organic material like compost to give the garden soil good texture and nutrients.
Make sure wild animals don’t enter the garden as they can attack the kids or bring some diseases.
It’s good to find out if the kids have allergies to some types of foods, flowers, or insects. Keep a first aid kit handy to help in case of problems.
It’s also good to have a source of drinking water around for the kids.
Use hats and sunscreen to protect the kids from the harsh sun when gardening. Make the kids wash their hands before and after they are done in the garden.
An adult should always be present to supervise the kids in the garden. And make sure tools, fertilizers, and chemicals are stored away when kids are working in the garden.
What are some gardening tools for kids
When you start a garden for kids, they’re going to need some tools to get going. You don’t want to give your kids plastic gardening tools. They don’t work well and break easily.
You want to give them actual gardening tools and monitor how they use them. This helps them understand that you’re serious about them gardening.
You can get gardening gloves that fit their hands. And saw off the spades and shovels so they become short enough for their use.
You can give them paper and pen so they can plan the garden and keep a journal about their gardening activities.
You’ll need seeds or plants that they need to plant in the garden. To water the plants, you’ll need to give them a watering can or hose.
How to plan a garden for kids
The kind of garden you should plan for your kids depends on things like age, schedule, soil, and available garden plot.
The garden could be a container, raised bed, or in-ground based on your preference.
You can choose the plants you grow in the garden based on whether they have fruits, flowers, vegetables, or herbs.
If you want to plant late in the summer, then you need to choose fast blooming plants like herbs or beans. Otherwise, you can stick to slow blooming plants like watermelon.
It’s good to choose low-maintenance plants like squash or corn for kids.
Find out where you want to grow the plants in your garden. It’s best to plant near a water source so kids can use a watering can or hose with ease.
Give them the best plot on your garden that gets good sunlight and has good soil. Make sure the soil does not contain tree roots or weeds.
What plants are suitable for kids to grow
It’s important that the plants you choose for your kids are safe and easy to grow. You can choose between perennial plants or annual plants.
You can also choose between warm season or cool season plants based on the weather. This helps you grow a garden and harvest them throughout the growing season.
You can decide to start plants from seeds or use seedlings based on the type of plants and how easy they are to grow. Some plants might be easier to start from seed while others may be difficult.
It might be useful to teach kids the process of growing from seed even if they end up failing. You can start the seeds indoors and transplant them in the garden when they mature.
You want to avoid plants that can be toxic, have thorns, or irritate the skin. Such plants include roses, stinging nettle, and pokeweed.
Cool season plants include beets, carrots, lettuce, spinach, peas, swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, onions, parsley, and strawberries.
Warm season plants include beans, cucumbers, cantaloupe, sweet corn, pumpkin, peanuts, watermelon, tomatoes, and eggplants.
You can get the seeds and plants from your local garden centers farmer’s markets, or even buy them online.
How to plant the garden for kids
It’s important to make the soil ready for use before the kids can plant the seeds or seedlings. You may need to till the soil if it’s too hard.
You can add organic compost to the soil over a long period of time so it turns into a fertile plot for your kids garden.
Before planting, place the seed packets on the plot as per the plan. This makes it easy to plant the seeds knowing which ones will go in which location on the plot.
How to maintain the garden for kids
You do need to maintain the garden once it’s set up to grow plants. This includes removing the weeds, watering the plants, and adding compost.
You can make such tasks fun for your kids by adding activities such as games and contests. This could be something simple as who picks the most weeds or who waters the most plants.
You can encourage your kids to play in the mud once they take care of some of these tasks.
You can plan such gardening tasks 2 to 3 times per week so your kids can be engaged along with you.
This helps to create a gardening habit. You can maintain a colorful schedule calendar in their room for such tasks. This helps them become responsible and you get to spend quality time with them in the garden.
Give them a journal so they can write about their time in the garden. This could include something interesting they observed. And encourage them to draw their favorite garden pictures in this journal.
The food that the kids grow in their garden plot can be eaten at the dinner table. Use it to make colorful salads and interesting recipes.
Show off the food your kids have grown to your friends and family. Give them as a gift to their teachers.
This helps your kids gain confidence in their gardening skills. And makes gardening an interesting activity for them.
How the garden can teach kids about food
There is an epidemic of obesity that affects kids these days because of eating junk food. Gardening to grow their own food can help kids prevent this problem.
The kids can grow their own fruits and vegetables. They enjoy the harvest as they have spent a lot of effort growing them.
Fruits and vegetables provide nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This helps protect the kids from problems like stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Gardening for food teaches the kids to grow a variety of vegetables with different colors. Such as purple beans, orange carrots, and green leafy vegetables.
It helps teach the kids what parts of the plant we eat. This could be seeds, roots, leaves, and fruits.
They understand that seeds are high in fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This is to give the plants good nutrition before they mature and perform photosynthesis.
The root vegetables like carrots and tubers like potatoes are high in carbohydrates so they can provide energy to the plant in winter.
And fruits have good sugar in them to attract birds and animals. This helps them to be carried around and dropped off into the ground.
I hope you now understand how wonderful gardening is for your kids. It’s the best way you can help them become better at living.
So take that first step with them. Help them understand what gardening is about. Let them play in the garden and get used to it. Give them the right tools and gardening plot.
Let them grow the garden they want and enjoy the fruits of their labor. It’ll help them gain confidence and become better at gardening.
It’ll help them become better at living as children and adults. And they’ll thank you for it.