Gardening with your children or your students is one of the most underrated activities of all time. Whether your kids do traditional schooling, homeschooling or unschooling, gardening should be included in their curriculum. Gardening is very diverse, practical, and has numerous positive impacts on a child’s mental, sensory and psychological development. It also encourages them to pursue more healthy eating while teaching them responsibility and developing their patience. Here are 10 educational and fun gardening activities for kids that you must try:
Gardening is one of the most underrated kid-friendly activities of all time!
What better way to teach and encourage kids to do gardening other than visiting the gardening store itself?
Not only will you get to buy the needed equipment to commence with your activities at home, but, also, you will incorporate the kids in with each step and allow them to choose their favorite totes as well as informing them about the different types of tools, when to use them, the kinds of seeds or seedlings and the growth process of each plant.
Some people prefer to shop online and browse the internet for sources on the best ways to do gardening, as well as for DIY hacks and tips —and that’s totally understandable! I mean, it’s 2018 after all.
There is an abundance of gardening kits that you can purchase online. I absolutely recommend checking out the following gardening kits:
Taking kids to a farmers market is undeniably an amusing experience, especially if your main purpose is to inform them about the produce they see.
You can organize a tour where you can educate them about the types of legumes, the feasibility of home-growing several types of herbs, fruits, and vegetables; what’s easy to grow, and what takes the longest time to harvest. See Martha Stewart’s guide on easy-to-grow vegetables for inspiration on what to plant.
Of course, you will need to adjust your educational tour depending on the kids’ needs. If, for instance, this trip is part of a set of gardening activities for elementary students, then you should work on jam-packing it with information.
Gardening is about monitoring and caring as it’s about planting. Digging, watering, (or helping to water), plucking, and picking all make great gardening activities for toddlers and kids under five years-old.
Since gardening is all about learning, allowing your kids to make mistakes, and coming up with not-so-perfect results, (hey, that’s life!) then I suggest you make a special spot in your garden or dedicate a special pot for your kids to experiment, plant, grow, and harvest.
According to PBS Parents: “Studies show that when children have contact with soil during activities like digging and planting, they have improved moods, better learning experiences and decreased anxiety. Most important, the self-esteem a child gets from eating a perfect cucumber that he grew himself is priceless.”
We unanimously love growing all fruits and vegetables, however, the growth process is not typical. Some herbs, fruits, and vegetables have a more exciting growth mechanism that is definitely fun to observe, especially for kids. Sunflower and avocado seeds are among the most popular —and prettiest— things to grow.
Another great hack is to organize a nice-looking setting using whatever you have around: toys, colorful boxes, glass jars and used bottles, to create a beautiful gardening space that kids will feel curious about, and be inclined to visit more often. Check out this article for further inspiration.
For example, try growing organic celery in a dish. It’s easy to save celery bottoms, easy to grow and the growth is visible in as little as two days. All you have to do is insert the bottoms in a dish and fill it with water. Once the roots regrow you can place the celery bottom in a container or in your garden.
Are you a fan of indoor gardening activities but you don’t know how to start? There are plenty of ideas on Pinterest and on YouTube, too. Try browsing for creative indoor gardening projects that your kids or students will opt for. Check out this simple presentation with DIY inspiration for in-house or indoor classroom garden ideas.
Teach the kids that gardening doesn’t have to occupy a huge space. They can plant in something as small as an eggshell, a juice box or an old, unused toy. One of the most popular ideas is planting garlic in an old tomato sauce can, or creating a mini garden in a mason jar.
Rainy day? No problem. Just because it’s pouring outside it doesn’t mean the fun should stop. Learning is one of the best rainy day garden activities, aside from cooking, which we will get to in a bit. A little time off the garden and in the house learning could actually develop and improve the kids’ gardening skills and knowledge. Watch this video on How to Teach the Basics of Gardening to Kids. You can utilize this time by informing them on herb growing, herb seed selection, windowsill gardening, and on using flowers and plants to feed birds.
Will you use an old can of soda, a tin foil or a boring jar for your next gardening project? Your containers do not have to be so dull. This is a perfect activity for rainy days, too.
Gather the kids around and start coloring and beautifying your jars and containers. Write your names on them, or draw your favorite animals.
Create DIY paper and hard pasta jewelry to decorate your gardens with.
Plant labels really come in handy when your plants have taken so long to grow, to the point that you’ve forgotten which is planted planted where. They also make great DIY indoor projects for your kids or students.
To make a plant label, the options are endless. You can make popsicle sticks, stones, beads, cardboard, spoons, and colored wooden pencils. Check out The Micro Gardener’s creative ideas for plant labels and markers.
As we’ve agreed that learning is part of the main essence of gardening activities for kids. It only makes sense that we also use a little documentation to determine our pace and monitor our seeds correctly.
Encourage your kids and students to take care of several plants, including the watering, picking, and monitoring. They should write down all of their mistakes and failed attempts to avoid repeating them in the future. They can also use it to mark up their successes and just to keep the daily chores covered.
Try to include a bit of research into this as well and allow them to keep a list of tips and hacks in their journals, too. Check out these amazing examples and types of garden journaling via PennState U.
Last but not least, what’s better to finish off your gardening activity than cooking that fresh produce? This will give the kids ultimate joy and it also allows them to see the results of their responsible actions, patience, and pay off big time!
Dedicate time to choosing the recipes together, as if you are farmers- slash- chefs operating their restaurants or just indulging themselves with a nice meal after a tough farming season.
Check out quick recipes on YouTube or from a cooking magazine lying around the house. Use the produce you’ve grown even in the simplest way possible in your recipe and make sure you emphasize the kids’ role in this delicious meal.
At the end of the day, you’ll have created beautiful, unforgettable memories, as well as learned extremely valuable lessons, even if the food didn’t taste so well after all.
Are you excited to start gardening with kids yet? I’ve tried to give you easy, yet fun activities to start with your children or students, whether they be toddlers, or children in primary or elementary school. I’ve written this thorough one-post article because I strongly believe in the vitality and the knowledge that comes from learning how to plant and harvest produce at an early age.
If you are enthusiastic about gardening projects and do not know how to start them with your kids, I think following one, or several of the aforementioned ideas will set you on the right track.
Do you have more creative ideas for gardening activities? Share them with us in the comments section along with any doubts; I’ll be happy to answer all of your questions!