Spring is a season of growth, and flowers, trees, and so many other things are blossoming, blooming, and growing. Not unlike spring, your kids are constantly learning, evolving, growing, and blooming. Enjoy these fun gardening activities and tips to enjoy planting and gardening with your kids. They are a great way to learn about and explore the growth all around you - even in your own backyard!
Gardening is a surprisingly kid-friendly activity. It's also a perfect pandemic-proof activity, even if you're not quite out of coronavirus quarantine.
Starting gardening with kids early on helps teach them that gardening is fun. Gardening activities with kids should be hands-on. Try your hand at planting vegetables with your kids, growing herbs and fruit, or coming up with your own gardening activities. Let your kids learn how to plant flowers in the soil while having fun getting dirty. Help kids develop a green thumb early by giving them responsibility for watering.
Here are some ideas and tips from the Goddard School about getting started gardening with kids no matter their age! From fun crafts to outdoor activities, it's never too early for your little one to start learning how to be a gardener! Once kids get started planting and learning, they will probably come up with their own fun ideas for gardening activities.
Perhaps you can even create your very own kids' garden where kids can learn gardening basics and create their own gardening fun. Get kids safe child-sized gardening tools and give your kids ideas for some great garden crafts. Before too long, kids will come up with their own idea for their miniature garden.
Here are some great gardening ideas for all ages from the Goddard School.
It's never too early to teach kids about gardening. For your youngest gardeners, think about growing plants that they can discover with all five senses. Sensory gardens are not just meant for visual pleasure. They are meant to be touched, smelled, and even tasted. Whether you have the space to create a sensory garden in a garden plot or you decide to plant a few sensory garden plants in a pot, you and your child will enjoy exploring with all of their senses. Infants are sensory-focused, so this would be a wonderful project for you and your baby to learn together. If your family has a specific interest, you could even engage in organic gardening or create a fairy garden, a butterfly garden, or a pizza garden where you grow your own toppings using tomato plants.
How does your child respond to the sensory garden? Does your child gravitate toward the plants or the dirt? Which senses does your child tend to use most often? Does your child use all of them equally?
Toddlers and preschoolers will love this eco-friendly DIY gardening craft. Homemade plant people are a fun way to demonstrate how fast-growing some plants can be. Toddlers through school-age kids will be able to enjoy this activity and participate in their own way. Try making plant people for the whole family!
Pre-K through school-age children will love making terrariums. What exactly is a terrarium? It is a garden grown inside a clear plastic or glass “house.” Terrariums are a low-cost and low-maintenance way for you to incorporate plants into your home and teach your children concepts like condensation, evaporation, and precipitation. You can use a variety of recyclable materials, including clear plastic containers, to create one! Kids will love having their very own garden!
What types of questions and comments is your child asking? A terrarium is essentially a self-contained garden, and your child may have lots of questions along with exciting observations. Simply put, the plants and the soil release water vapor. That vapor condenses or collects on the walls of the container and then trickles down into the soil. Place the terrarium in the sun. Your child will notice the water condensation on the sides of the container. You will be able to engage in many more involved conversations if you and your child are ready to become deeply involved in the conversation. This means that you should be ready to adapt it to your child’s interests and developmental level.
This activity for all ages starts with noticing and discovering what is happening outside and ends with artistic representation. Explore the great outdoors with your child. Look for worms, compost, butterflies, and anything else you see in the natural world in any outdoor space. You can stay at home and explore your garden or take your kids farther afield. Then, ask your kids to reflect upon and represent what they observed with art and watch their great ideas unfold. This activity will be based on multiple visits outside, and each time your child will create another art project to represent the journey.
What did your child observe outdoors? How did your child represent what they saw outside? To extend this activity, ask your child to tell a story about the artwork and document the story. For example, your toddler may look at the sunflower on your table and make a lot of yellow and orange handprints on paper to create a sunflower house. Or they might notice tulip petals and paint some pink swirls.
Honor the process and your child’s interpretation. Engaging in this activity multiple times and observing how nature changes and grows, which the photos and artwork will reflect, will create an ongoing opportunity for growth and observation in all ways.