Teaching kids how to grow their own fruits and vegetables can be fun, educational, and even benefit them in more ways than you think. Studies have shown that children, who spend more time outside, like gardening, actually sleep better, have better eye site, and have even shown improvements in their class work. You can easily help get your kids interested in gardening, going green, and eating organically by setting up your own garden in your yard.
You can first start teaching your kids how to plant their own fruits and vegetables by going to the store and picking out the seeds. This small trip can be fun and educational. Your children will get to pick out the seeds that they want to plant, and you can teach them about seasonal plants, as well as the needs of different plants. Despite what seeds are in season, you will still want to help your kids be successful in developing their gardening skills, so try to help them pick seeds that are easy to grow. Potatoes, tomatoes, radishes, strawberries, and raspberries, to name a few, are great starter plants for anyone new to gardening. Once your kids have picked out the seeds they want, you will also want to get them some of their own gardening tools. Try to avoid getting them plastic tools like you would use at the beach; these simply won’t get the job done. There are plenty of tools that are small enough for little hands to use, and they can come in fun colors.
Part of gardening is getting everything set up before you plant the seeds. Help your kids pick out a place in the yard that will give their plants the proper amount of sunlight, nutrition, and water. If you have a sprinkler system installed, then you can either choose to put the garden in a place that already gets covered by the sprinklers, or you can choose a different spot so your kids can go out and water their garden on their own. If you don’t have space in your back yard, or live in an apartment with a patio, you can build a garden box for each of your kids.
Once your kids have chosen the perfect spot for their garden, help them plant their seeds. Make sure you or your kids read the instructions on the package of seeds and plant them accordingly. You don’t have to plant all of the seeds in the package, one or two will be just enough for your little gardeners to take care of. Keep the extra seeds in a dry area so you can use them again next year, or for your kids to extend their garden they get older. Your kids can decorate their gardens to make it their own space. Add signs saying whose garden it is, and some plant markers. Having your kids make their own signs and plant markers helps them stay interested in their garden.
As the plants grow, your children will be able to learn all about biology and the process of how fruits and plants grow. Every day will be like a little lesson as they see their plants sprout, flower, and produce fruits and vegetables. Have your children tend their garden every now and then by adding in some plant feed or fertilizer to give their garden plenty of nutrition to grow. Of course, with almost any garden there is a chance that pests and animals may interfere. Try to avoid using harmful pesticides, especially if you plan on eating any of the produce. There are plenty of harmless and green ways to keep pests out of your kids’ gardens. If you want, you can go a step further and teach your children how to compost to keep their garden have rich, nutritional soil. This will help you and your family recycle as well as grow healthy, strong produce.
Teaching your kids how to grow their own fruits and vegetables gives them something to take pride in, and even helps them eat more fruits and vegetables that they used to not like. Creating a garden with your children lets them learn about science, being eco-friendly, and even eating healthy, all while having fun outside. Before you start up a garden with your children, make sure you do your research about different plants. If you have smaller children or pets, look up any plants that you are thinking of planting because some can be poisonous when ingested or even touched. Introducing gardening to your kids can be fun and exciting for all members of the family.