Children learn a lot through observation and the best way to teach them where food comes from is by growing some vegetables in a home garden. The garden does not have to be large, just a couple of containers on a balcony or deck is a good way to start a spring garden.
Gardening with children is also a great way to spend time with your kids and get some fresh air and exercise. These spring gardening tips with children will help you eat healthier, get more exercise, and have fun with your children.
The Great Outdoors
Children thrive outdoors and after being cooped up in the house all winter getting them out in nature with a spring garden will be easy.
Digging in the dirt and watering the plants will be all the motivation children need to get them off the video games and out the door.
When the plants begin to produce flowers and develop vegetables make a measuring game for the kids. Use a small tape measure and notepad to measure and write down the size of the vegetable, height of the plant, and other information about the plants.
Community Gardens and allotments
If you don’t have outdoor space to plant an in-ground or container garden this spring, check out a local community garden or allotment. Garden plots can be rented for a small fee and it’s a great way to get outdoors, meet new people, and grow fresh food.
Local experienced gardeners often stop by their local community gardens or allotment to lend their expertise and office advice for growing bigger, better, and more produce.
Make It Fun
Plant fast-growing vegetables to keep children interested. Carrots and radishes are ready to harvest in 30 days after planting the seeds. Sunflowers will grow faster than the kids during the summer and are fun to watch.
Grow some of the children’s favorite vegetables so they can be harvested and eaten in the garden. An organically-grown cherry tomato, cucumber, or sugar snap pea is a tasty snack and can be eaten fresh off the vine.
Attrack Lady Bugs and earthworms by keeping it organic, adding plently of compost and leaf matter to soil and planting flowers. Lady Bugs eat harmful aphids and earthworms create tunnels in the soil that promote good drainage and air circulation, plus the earthworms leave behind nutrient-rich castings.
Plant flowers that will attract bees and butterflies so the children will get double the enjoyment out of a spring garden. This is also a great way to teach kids about the job of pollinators in the garden.
At the first sign of warm weather, the landscape will begin to change rapidly as the winter dormancy stage is broken. The leaf buds on trees begin to appear, grass begins to grow, and weeds show up in the garden.
Early spring is a time when the kids can get outside and start playing in the dirt. Pulling up weeds, picking up twigs, clearing off the garden spot, and planting spring flower bulbs will seem like playtime to them.
Some of the plants we refer to as weeds are edible, like dandelions, lamb’s quarters, and purslane. Foraging for edible spring weeds is another opportunity for getting outdoors for fun, food, and having a teachable moment with children.
Benefits Parents Too
The benefits of a spring garden extend to parents also. Spending time with children, exercise, learning about different plants, and growing organic food are things that a home garden can provide.
If you have plenty of outdoor space, planting a large spring garden and selling the excess produce during the summer is a great way to earn extra income. Every town has a farmer’s market that allows local gardeners to come and sell their fresh organic produce.
Children can be a part of planting, growing, harvesting, selling, and eating food they grow themselves.