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Last Updated on April 8, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
Kids learn best when they are able to get involved with the learning process. Organic gardening with kids presents a great opportunity to teach your children valuable life lessons with hands-on experience. The most important thing to keep in mind when trying to get your kids engaged in the organic gardening process is to keep their interest. Plant growth takes time, and from seed planting until harvest time of vegetables or flowers, kids often lose interest. Use these tips to capture and hold their attention so you can have a successful summer adventure by creating an organic garden in your own backyard. I will include a few affiliate links for products that you might find helpful.
Tips for Organic Gardening with Kids
Make wise garden seed choices (even if you don’t like the vegetable or flower) so the seeds will work in your favor.
Seeds that sprout quickly will keep kids interested. Cucumbers, yellow squash, marigolds, zinnia and nasturtium seeds will germinate within 5 days and show above-ground signs of life to keep kids engaged in the growing process. As an added bonus, nasturtiums are edible when grown in an organic garden. Planting bulbs is an easy chore for kids because they are big enough that little hands can grab them!
Kids may not get excited about growing organic broccoli, but they will get excited about growing food for birds and butterflies. Any nectar-producing flower, including vegetable plant blooms, will attract hungry hummingbirds and butterflies. Cucumber, yellow squash, and melon blossoms will attract a variety of winged creatures to stop and eat. So will petunia, daisy, cosmos, trumpet vine, and salvia. Pick up some pollinator garden seeds and watch the bees and butterflies flock to your yard! Plant flowers that attract birds to your backyard and start bird watching with your children!
Successful organic gardening with kids must include at least one sunflower. A sunflower will outgrow a kid child over the course of a summer. Plant the tallest growing sunflower variety and take weekly pictures with kids standing next to them to document how fast they both grow. Kids enjoy watching the sunflowers turn their heads to follow the sun throughout the day and spotting the many varieties of birds that land of the sunflower heads and eat the seeds.
Make the organic garden fun for kids by planting fun flowers. Plant some snapdragons that have blooms that snap shut when touched. Four O'clock flowers will come to life and open up their fragrant blooms around four o’clock every afternoon. Plant a variety of flowers that are unusual-looking and vary in color so kids to pick and create a unique floral bouquet. Plant moonflower seeds and have a garden that blooms at night!
Make organic gardening with kids a dirty job so they will stay interested. Make it grow fast with interesting plants and let the kids get dirty. The one time kids can get their clothes, shoes, hands and even hair dirty without getting scolded is when they’re gardening. Encourage their exploration of dirt, bugs, rocks and everything else that your backyard has to offer! Get them a child-sized garden set that is just the right size for little hands.
Organic gardening with kids can be a great way to teach your children to have fun outdoors. It also teaches them valuable lessons about how our food system works. You may even find that children who help you garden are more excited to eat the vegetables that they helped grow!
Do you have any other tips for organic gardening with kids?
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.