Gardening Ventures for Children

Audrey J. Powers

Have you ever observed that nearly every kid naturally is interested in growing things? Not only does it give them a chance to mess around in the dirt, but they also seem to really like watching plants grow. It is an enjoyable experience that can also be extremely educational for kids. You’ll discover that there are many rewards both for you and the child when you offer them some gardening activities, even if you do not necessarily have a green thumb. In fact, you might love doing it so very much that you decide to make growing plants a regular part of your schedule. The following are just a few of the numerous possibilities you can consider when looking for something fun and educational that will also get your kids outside.

Have Your Child Grow Their Very Own Salad

If your child isn’t a fan of having to eat their vegetables, then demonstrating to them how to cultivate their own can be a great way to encourage them. Children who would typically protest eating veggies often become much more open to the idea if they watch them grow in their own garden. Even when you have a really small yard, you should be able to find enough space for your youngster to grow a tomato plant, one kind of lettuce and perhaps a pepper or a cucumber plant. The truth is, these plants may even be easily grown in a container on your porch, patio or balcony. It is better to start small with just a few plants, so that your child does not become overwhelmed with the need to take care of a larger garden. Small vegetables like cherry tomatoes are often favorites with children. When getting started, you can begin with a few already sprouted plants which you purchased at a garden center nearby, or you could even try starting up from seeds, which will enable your kids to learn even more about growing things. Encourage your child to keep the plants watered and weeded, and soon they’ll be rewarded with tasty fresh vegetables. Once this happens, plan a minimum of one meal around a salad made from your child’s crops. You may even want to get some snapshots of your family enjoying the scrumptious salad so you can later put them in pretty red picture frames and hang them in your kitchen.

Try Out Sprouting Some Seeds

Even if the weather is cold and does not permit you to garden things outside, this does not mean that you can’t sprout some seeds inside in the meanwhile. Purchase a few packets of seeds, like beans, cucumbers, or squash. Since your child will probably be handling the seeds too, you’ll want to check and confirm that they have not been treated with any harmful chemicals or pesticides. Get some paper towels a little moist with water, and then spread them out on a counter or another work surface. Then, put several seeds onto the paper towel. Fold the paper towel around the seeds, and set in a warm location. You will need to sprinkle the paper towel with a little water occasionally, because the seeds won’t sprout if the paper towel becomes dry. Covering the paper towel with a plastic bag can help keep it damp, but make sure the seeds get at the very least a bit of air. Unfold the paper towel every day or so to examine the seeds’ progress. The sprouting seeds and leaves are sure to be fascinating for the child to watch. Take a couple of photos of the growing seeds so that your youngster can display them in great small picture frames to remind them of the experiment. If you go to your grocery store’s natural and organic section, you might even purchase mung bean, alfalfa, and some other sprouting seeds to make for salads. Put them in a glass canning jar, rinse them out with some water, and then drain the water thoroughly out of the jar. Repeat this process each day until some sprouts form. Then, use them to finish off a tasty salad.

You’ll be surprised to discover how well your kids will do in cultivating their own plants, and how much they will enjoy themselves in the process. You just might find that you even have lots of fun too!

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