Alicia DeVore
boy with three plants

Starting A Garden with Kids

We had always wanted to start a garden, but I was never very confident in my abilities to make things grow. My oldest son was 9 years old at the time, and he wanted to start a garden with me. So, we decided to give it a try.

The first year was a bit of a disaster. We planted our seedlings, but everything turned yellow. We didn’t know what we were doing wrong, but we kept trying and learning. This process of overcoming initial failures helped build our confidence in gardening. The next season was a little better, but still not great. We started to learn about the different types of plants, and which ones would be best for our climate and location. I was starting to learn amazing life skills in the garden with my kids through children’s plant activities.

In this post, I’m going to show you 6 amazing life skills to learn while gardening with kids. Let’s get growing!

Family Bonding Time

Finally, after several years of trial and error, we managed to create a thriving garden! Gardening helped boost self-esteem and self-confidence for the entire family. We learned so much along the way – how not to give up when things don’t go as planned, how to work together as a team in the garden, and how to enjoy nature together. Our family bonding time in the garden was some of the best times we ever had.

Learning to Garden Together

When most people think about gardening, they imagine doing it all on their own. But gardening can be a fun activity to do with your kids too. Not only will you be able to spend some quality time together, but you'll also be teaching them some important life skills. 

You can learn more about gardening books from this blog post. Starting the education early with gardening books for toddlers is always a great idea and gardening quotes

Also check out this 12-week course from nothing to harvest to help your family grow a garden together. It's called the Simple Gardening Method with Kids and is offered only a few times a year. Here's a blog post on how to start a garden for more detailed information. 

Here are six of the most important skills that your kids can learn from gardening and you can too:

1. Patience 

Gardening can be a great way to teach kids about patience and responsibility, helping them develop core life skills. Growing healthy plants requires time and patience, and it's essential for children to learn how to care for them properly.
By engaging in gardening, kids can develop core life skills, which will also contribute to their sensory and physical development. However, gardening with kids can also be a lot of fun.

Children, as a kids gardener, can help to choose the plants, prepare the soil, and water them regularly. As the plants begin to grow, kids will be able to see the results of their hard work. With a bit of patience, gardening offers kids a fantastic opportunity to learn about nature and experience the rewarding feeling of nurturing something they've created. To know how to start seeds indoors, check out this blog post.

2. Cooperation 

When you think of gardening, you might not immediately think of it as something that requires teamwork. However, working together is an important part of gardening, especially when kids are involved. By collaborating, children can learn to communicate and cooperate with others to achieve a common goal.

Gardening offers kids the chance to explore various aspects of nature, including the plant life cycle and the role insects play in the ecosystem. They see how the natural world works together with plant activities. Check out this blog post for 54 encouraging gardening quotes to share with your kids as you start gardening. 

3. Problem-solving 

Gardening can be a rewarding but challenging activity. From managing pests and weeds to selecting the right plants for your garden, there are numerous challenges to tackle.

This is why it's so important for kids to learn how to solve gardening problems on their own. By letting them identify and resolve issues in their gardens, they can develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will benefit them in all areas of their lives.

4. Responsibility 

Gardening is a great way for kids to learn responsibility. They need to take care of the plants from a tiny seed, water them, and make sure they get enough sunlight. Gardening also teaches them about the life cycle of plants and how to care for them. 

5. Respect for nature 

Many people believe gardening is just about planting flowers and vegetables, but it's far more than that. Gardening also contributes to children's sensory and physical development by allowing them to explore the outdoors in a fun and productive way.

Gardening is a great way to teach kids about the importance of taking care of the environment.

Gardening helps kids develop an appreciation for the natural world and its inhabitants. They also learn how to care for plants and how to create a healthy ecosystem. In other words, gardening helps instill a sense of respect for nature in kids. And that’s an important lesson for all of us to learn.

6. Creativity

Gardening is an excellent activity for kids as it lets them exercise creativity in selecting what works best in the garden. But gardening with kids can be a little bit different than gardening on your own.

Let your kids pick out the plants they love to eat and plant those in the garden. Use different types of containers to grow things. Get creative in how you and your kids want your garden to look.

Dream your garden together. It may take a few years to get that dream look, but planning it out and then planting it out little by little together makes the experience so rewarding. With a little imagination, gardening can be a great way for kids to learn about nature and have fun at the same time.

3 Tips on Engaging my Child to Garden with Me

Tip #1- Start small

Choose a gardening project that is manageable and won't take too long to complete. This will help keep the kids from getting bored or frustrated. These are the beginning steps in teaching horticulture for kids. Start by growing seeds indoors with this blog post

Tip #2- Get them involved

Ask the kids to help with tasks like planting seeds, watering the plants or harvesting the produce. Gardening helps children to get a sense of ownership and responsibility for the garden. 

Tip #3- Be prepared for messes

Gardening can be messy, so make sure you have all the supplies you need to clean up afterward. This includes things like gloves, buckets, and gardening tools in their garden space.

kid watering ground with green  watering can

How do you start a garden in your backyard for kids?

You might be surprised how easy it is to start a garden in your backyard! Growing your own fresh food can teach kids about nutrition and promote a healthy lifestyle, while achieving a successful garden can provide a sense of accomplishment and bountiful produce. All you need is a little space, some sunshine, and a bit of water. Hopefully these 6 amazing life skills to learn while gardening with kids gave you encouragement to try and start a garden. Check out great gardening quotes to get or keep you inspired in gardening with your kids.

Here are a few tips to get you started

  • Choose a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sunlight. Once you've found the perfect spot, it's time to start preparing the soil. If you have sandy soil, you'll need to add some organic matter to help retain moisture. You can do this by adding compost or mulch. If you have clay soil, on the other hand, you'll need to add sand to improve drainage. mix the sand and clay together until you have a crumbly mixture.
  • Next, it's time to choose what you want to grow! If you're growing vegetables, make sure to choose varieties that are well suited to your climate. Flowers, herbs, vegetable seeds, and even fruit trees all make great additions to any garden. Quick growing seeds for preschool children include beets, radishes, and peas. Once you've made your selections, it's time to head to your local nursery to purchase your plants or seeds. To see what to grow in summer that is great and easy to do with kids, check out this article
  • Finally, it's time to plant. Be sure to dig holes that are twice as wide as the roots of your plants. This will give them room to spread out and grow. Once your plants are in the ground, water them well and give them a little sun. Even this watering session are benefits of watering plants for toddlers. With a bit of care and attention, your garden will soon be growing especially if you plant some fast growing seeds.  Here is a blog post with summer veggies to grow that are easy for kids. Soon you will be growing seeds through the whole plant life cycle. To encourage your heart to keep growing a garden, check out this encouraging blog post of gardening quotes and gardening books. 
advertisement of 3 kids gardens

Connect With Your Kids Through Gardening

Make gardening easy by choosing a garden to do with your kids.

Butterfly Garden
  • Set up an inviting environment for butterflies
  • List of what to plant to attract butterflies
  • Tips & Tricks to make a successful butterfly garden
Pizza Garden
  • List of vegetables & herbs to plant in the garden
  • Tips to make this garden thrive
  • Planting plan to know where to plant your plants
Green Bean Teepee
  • Detailed Instructions of what is needed
  • A How to plant list for success
  • A plant observation chart to keep track of your green bean growth

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How do I make my garden kid friendly?

Creating a kid-friendly garden, full of plant science can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Choose kid-friendly plants for children gardening in outdoor learning.

2. Create a safe play area. Set aside a spot for your child to play in the dirt, dig for worms, or hunt for ladybugs. 

3. Plant a sensory garden. Fill your garden with plants that have interesting textures, colors, and scents. 

4. Get involved in the gardening process. Kids are more likely to enjoy the garden if they are involved in the planting and care of the plants. Start seeds indoors by checking out this blog post. And to know what to plant in cold temperatures, check out this blog post

5. Give them a little plot of land to grow in and the responsibility of watering plants in a plant theme.

What are the easiest plants to grow at home with kids?

Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Sunflower seeds are easy to grow from seed, and kids will love watching them grow tall and produce bright blooms.

2. Cucumbers are a great choice for kids who want to see results quickly. They're easy to grow from seed, and they can be harvested in as little as two months.

3. Radishes and lettuce seeds are another option for fast sprouting seeds that are perfect for kids who are impatient to see results. Plus, they're a great way to add some color to your garden. Using a spray bottle to water seeds is a fun motor skill too. 

To learn more about what to grow a vegetable garden in summer months with your kids, check out this blog post.

Is gardening fun for kids?

Gardening is a great activity for kids! Not only is it a fun way to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn about nature. Gardening can also improve self-esteem in children by giving them a sense of accomplishment as they watch their plants grow.

Kids can help plant seeds for most plants, water the garden, and watch as the plants grow outside or as indoor plants. Gardening is also an excellent way to educate kids about healthy eating by having them grow their own food. When they see firsthand how delicious fresh fruits and vegetables can be, they’ll be more likely to make healthy choices.

And gardening doesn’t have to be just about food. Kids can also plant flowers, herbs, and even trees. No matter what type of gardening they do, kids are sure to have fun while they’re learning about the world around them. Using fine motor skills and learning healthy eating habits are just a few of the benefits of life skills activities for kindergarten.

Check out this blog post on what to read to your young children to encourage them to garden and taking care of plants for kindergarten.

In conclusion: 

If you’re looking for a fun and rewarding family activity, look no further than gardening with kids. With a little time, patience, and preparation, your garden can become a place where everyone in the family enjoys spending time together.

I’d love to chat more about this topic – let me know if you want to learn more! I have a 12-week online course to help families garden together. Check it out. 

And here are even more resources with gardening with your kids:

Gardening with your kids resources

12-weeks from Nothing to Harvest Course with Kids

Grab some FREE garden Resources HERE

Build your basic garden Knowledge & skills of a gardener HERE and HERE.

Learn more about Create My Garden and how we can help you HERE

Here is a list of amazing gardening resource books to help you too!

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About the Author

Alicia has been teaching her whole life from elementary teacher to workshops for beginning gardeners.  Go HERE to read Alicia's story into gardening from plant killer to pro grower and garden coach.  If you want to send Alicia a quick message, then use her contact page HERE.

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