Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. Gardening with kids

Gardening is fun for us adults and is very destressing as we become one with nature and nurture green life with our own hands. Likewise, gardening also is an important life skill for kids as it teaches them to take care of something from scratch and also gives them an unmatched opportunity to understand the environment as they explore nature. It’s also an effective way to increase their physical activity and the best part is, they will relish what they have grown. So, if your fussy eater is not eating those veggies or greens, make them grow it. They are very likely to gulp it down with all happiness. This way they will also know that food is grown and comes from soil and not in paper bags from a super-market.

image courtesy Freepik

When to start gardening with kids

There is never a right age to get your kids downright muddy and dirty in gardening. When they are babies, take them with you while watering the plants. Later on, start talking to them about various plants that you have, about the colors in the flowers and vegetables that have grown. This way you will be able to garner their interest into gardening. And as your child grows, allow him/her to water the small plants and take care of them. Assign a single plant and make your child responsible to water and nurture it. Trust me your kids will do a fantastic job at it. 

6 Benefits of Gardening with kids

  1. Children connect with nature. 
  2. They learn to be patient as they watch the seeds grow.
  3. It makes them feel responsible for their plant health. 
  4. They learn to nurture and take care. 
  5. They learn about the growth cycle of a plant. 
  6. Best of all, they will learn to respect the environment. 

Tips to gardening with kids

Start with seeds: From flowering plants to kitchen garden, everything is available readily grown in a nursey. But for kids, make sure to start from seeds. The care given to the seeds as they sprout and grow is a wonderful leaning experience in itself for the kids. 

Give them tools: You do get small plastic tools for kids to use. Make them have their own set of shovels, spade, gloves and a can to water the plants. If need be, allow them to use your tools, this way you are also acknowledging the work that they do, and they feel much more motivated to continue. 

Assign them their own plants: You may have an entire flowerbed and many pots in your garden but have a dedicated pot and a spot only for your child. Keep it small and place it such that it gets the desired sunlight and is easy for your child to water it and see it grow too. Make sure to use good soil and seeds so that the results are good, and your kids feel motivated. 

Get them involved throughout the process: Making your kids sow some seeds as an activity for a day and then not nurturing it will make them feel like gardening is an ideal play. Once your kids have sowed the seeds, make them responsible for the survival of the plant. From pot to plate and the entire process in between, should be your child’s duty. 

Help them: As the plants grow, teach and help your child to take care of it. If the soil needs to be moved or shuffled, show them how it’s done. Teach them to prune the plants when the time is right and to remove those weeds. Don’t leave your child alone, be around to guide them. 

Make it interesting: There are many available in the market and online to decorate the pots like small mushrooms or small stick butterflies to put in the pot to make it look attractive. You can also set up the garden area by lighting it up a bit. Color or decorate the pots before sowing in them. Make labels with the name of the plant and place it in the pot. 

Image courtesy Freepik

Show off: When you have guest at home, flaunt what your child has grown. If you are serving them food from the veggies harvested by your child, make sure to mention it. Take picture of their plants and flowers and share it with your family and friends. The attention you give to your child’s labor motivates them to do more. 

Planting is an activity that the whole family can enjoy and as much as kids love seeing a new life spring from a seed, I am not wrong when I say, they enjoy getting messy and dirty too. You get to spend quality time with your children, and you are also giving them a hobby which could last them a lifetime. 

So get your hands messy with your kids as you sow, water, watch, weed and wait as the plant grows. 

Aayeraveer Watering the plants at home. This image belongs to http://www.mummatalks.blog and any form or reuse is not permitted.

Our annual trip to our farm where kids help to pluck the harvest and sort them too. These images belong to http://www.mummatalks.blog and any form of reuse is not permitted.

From farm to plate. Okra grown in our farm was plucked by the kids and freshly cooked and served later on. These images belong to http://www.mummatalks.blog and any form of reuse is not permitted.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s Causeachatter

36 replies on “Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. Gardening with kids”

First i really like all the images you had used in the blog. yes, I agree gardening offers many advantages for kids. I really like your suggestion of give one particular plant responsibility to one child, yes this is great way to make our kids responsible and kids will get great sense of accomplishing something when do it by themselves.

This is so cool. I’m deathly afraid of killing plants and so I haven’t really been assigned a plant yet! But your blogpost makes it sound so easy! Loved the photos you have used 🙂

My kids love being in the garden. My mother in law has a large garden. So my kids play there. They like playing with the mud and we never prevented them from playing. However dirty they become the benefit of being connected to nature was you said is the best return..loved you post totally.

Being connected to nature is very important. Nature can teach your kids, be their friends and nurture them. In an era where the gadgets are consuming their time, gardening can be the most engaging activity you can give your child. You have pointed out some valid points and easy I apply tips. The topic itself is very unique and not many people speak about it. Thanks for the unique post. I’m sure this would change many mindsets and kids would be able to explore more.

Awe. I used to get disappointed to see the expensive educational toys for kids all over social media. It left me wondering of there isn’t a world outside that kids should see. You have chosen the topic that many have ignored. Thank you so much

It is totally another level of happiness to relish the veggies we grow with care in our garden. Apart from self sufficiency and preserving environment it also teaches us responsibility.

We had seed growing activity in my toddlers online school program. It was something different that he did frim his regular play and he was intrigued by the entire process of how plants grow

I involve my kids in gardening and know how exciting it is for them to care for them and watch seeds slowly sprout and take shape. Why just them, makes me feel closer to nature too. 🙂

Wow.. Organic plants and organic pictures.. Loved it. Nature is the best teachers which I am sure most if us realised during pandemic. I have also given one plant responsibility to my kid and she takes it really seriously.

In today’s world which is only taking steps towards global warming and worsening of our planet earth, gardening has become very important. It is great to teach this to teach to our kids as well and loved how your kids have been so involved in it.

This year doing the pandemic we tried to involve our ten year old in gardening – starting with composting and watering plants etc. It was good fun.

What a lovely post, loved the graphics too. I totally believe in teaching kids life skills such as gardening and there is no right or wrong age to start with that. My son has been a nature lover since he was a baby and now he loves spending time with plants nurturing & caring for them.

Teaching kids the value of the nature by Gardening is the good thought. It is true when kids see the effort gone in raising a plant they too become more compassionate and responsible in nature. Looking forward to your post on this in #CauseAChatter

I absolutely loved your post. I am all for involving kids into gardening activities. As you rightly pointed out it is very good for them to know the source of their food and they will eat happily. The joy of watching a seed sprout and shoot, then flower to fruit is like magic and kids love it. My grandsons love my garden so much that they have gone back to Mexico and asked my son to start one there. Now they have some 30 plants..flowers, herbs and vegetables growing.

Teaching gardening is always one of the best way to keep the kids close to nature.. They look super excited… Good going definitely will be teaching my daughter too

My son a 6 year old is an avid gardener.. he sings while watering plants.. ha ha ha.. anyways I started with him by watering and then by planting seeds and henceforth caring for the saplings. Nice suggestions by you.

Gardening is a wonderful hobby and involving kids in that is surely a nice thing to learn and understand its importance.

Gardening is such a multifaceted activity and apart from teaching children about nature and patience and nurturing it is also great way to build memories as a family.
I can remember my first gardening set that I got in very bright colours and how happy I was carrying it around with me everyday

Firstly, awesome pictures Hansa! The kids and greens both look adorable.
Secondly, being a plant lover I completely agree that it is very important to teach our children about the importance of gardening. It definitely teaches empathy in kids, the value to nurture and be kind to everyone.

I’ve been involving my little one in sowing but not giving him ownership, what a lovely idea. Come to think of it I had my own patch at the allotment as a little kid so it must have inspired me!

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