7 Tips on How to Enjoy Gardening With Kids… Yes, Really!

by Leila on June 2, 2011

Gardening with kids isn’t the easiest undertaking. Most kids love to get dirty and why not!? It can be fun when you aren’t obsessing over how all that dirt may damage your carpet. I grew up gardening with my Dad and Grand Parents. It is just a part of me and something I love but I didn’t always love the work involved in it. I think it is important for kids to enjoy gardening and it gives us a chance to disconnect, get outside and grow some stuff but we all need to remember to be cool about it so they are cool about it!

So how can you really enjoy gardening with kids? Follow these simple tips for a good start!

1. Remove all electronics and anything of value from you and the kid(s). Do not put it on the grass, porch or any nearby surface! Why? Because at some point you might not be the one in control of the hose so therefore everything, including your roof, may end up being soaked. Most kids will point the hose at whatever they are looking so just imagine where the water will end up if your kiddo is looking at a bird flying above. Rather than banging your chest like an angry gorilla if it happens be a little pro active and remove everything first.

2. Grow your food and grow edibles that your kids will eat! I cannot stress this enough. What is the point to growing cucumbers if no one likes them? Sure, there are a ton of phallic jokes you can come up with but ultimately you don’t want the food to go to waste. It is really enjoyable to see your kids raid the garden to eat something fresh from the vine. They get a better appreciation for food they grow and I’ve found that kids tend to eat more vegetables if they grow them.

3. Grow something fun! Have you ever seen those huge giant mammoth sunflowers? Or what about a topsy turvy tomato? Or if you have pace grow some pumpkins! Make it fun and they will enjoy it a lot more.

4. Grow it in a container! No matter if you are restricted to a patio space or a huge garden it is always fun to grow stuff in containers. Want to see root vegetables grow? Find a clear container to grow them in. Seriously. It kicks garden booty.

5. Make a game out of every gardening chore. Be creative! I feel that making things into a race or beating some kind of previous record makes everything more enjoyable. You can even make little matching cards with free images online of whats in your garden. Print the images out, put them on one side of index cards and every time you go outside to play in the garden have your kid(s) match the image with the plant in the garden. If you used seed packets then keep the images on them for cards! If you are making a game out of it your kids are less likely to bug you or speak whinese!

6. Get dirty. Seriously. Gardening is dirty so don’t freak out over the dirt. Wear appropriate clothes and get your dirt on.

7. End the your gardening time with water play because not only is it a fun incentive but it also helps prewash any messes they made. Have a yard? Do slip n slide or play in the sprinklers! Live in a condo, apartment or condo? Create a water play table and utilize that. You can use the water (so long as you don’t add soap to it) to water your plants after playtime.

 

Ultimately the kids will have as much fun as you do. Kid’s are amazing reminders that life is pretty simple and fun is the objective. So, get out there. Get dirty. Have fun. Create a game. Enjoy gardening with kids even if you kill all the plants and remember, “Don’t Speak Whinese!!”.

 

 

 

About Leila DontSpeakWhinese

Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of four awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.

Comments

  1. Kristin says:

    Yes, the water will be everywhere. My girls are starting to wear their nice dresses outside to garden. No way Jose. I suppose I should get to the 2nd hand store and stock up on play dresses.
    Excellent list.

  2. Rachael says:

    Love this list.  I really want to grow stuff with my kids.  I have the worst black thumb though.  Oh well.  At least I can teach them how NOT to grow plants!!!  Now I want to do the clear pot thing.  That is just awesome!!

  3. Laura Jane says:

    Great post! I agree with Rachael – when I have kids, I can teach them how not to grow plants.

  4. Fun!  I kill everything and we’ve container gardened a few times.  If you REALLY suck at gardening (like me!) another option is to join your local CSA or go Upicking with the kids.  :)

  5. Sandra says:

    Ok, you would be the MOST FUN mom! I’m out there squealing at every bug and running for cover when the water hits my leg! My kids need to hang out with you more!

  6. “Kid’s are amazing reminders that life is pretty simple and fun is the objective. So, get out there. Get dirty. Have fun.”

    That’s so true. My 15 year old son, wants NOTHING to do with that, or me. However, my 3 year old nephew was here over the weekend, and we totally enjoyed good times in the garden. It was wonderful.

  7. Damon says:

    Such good tips! Regarding growing foods you can eat, I have two words to say to you: Cherry tomatoes. They’re reasonably bite-sized even for little kids, they fascinatingly turn from bright green to red in a kid decodable statement of ‘I’m ready to be eaten!’, and they grow fast.

    Also, I know this was a post on how to garden with kids and not why, but I thought I’d just throw this out there. – I seem to recall a study which said exposure to dirt and plants has antidepressant effects! Cool stuff, eh? Makes sense, too. How often do you think of a grumpy gardener…

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