It’s already warmed up enough here to start re-planting our garden. It wasn’t much of a success last year, but that doesn’t stop us from trying again! It’s been really fun to get outside with my kids now that they are both mobile toddlers who don’t need help walking. Their favorite activity when we’re outside is to watch what I’m doing and “help”. Fortunately, gardening is something that toddlers or preschoolers can participate in and even learn a little! Here’s how they helped me plant our garden and flowers:
The kids had a lot of fun looking at seed packets and picking out which ones they wanted to plant. This is especially fun with flowers, since the colors are so bright on the outside. When it came time to plant, they really enjoyed holding the seeds in their little chubby hands.
If there’s one thing most little boys love, it’s getting dirty. In fact, my little girl loves getting dirty even more than my little boy. Their gramma bought them little kid-sized gardening gloves and they have little digging trowels. When they had picked out the seeds, we dug around in the dirt to make holes for the seeds. Even if the ground is too cold to plant, you can start the seeds indoors in small pots.
Now that the seeds are in the ground, this is one of our favorite everyday activities. Small plastic watering cans with lots of holes in the spout work well for gentle watering.
Wait and watch!
It really wasn’t long at all until the flowers started coming up — less than a week! Garden vegetables take longer, sometimes as long as 10-12 days. If your kids get impatient with indoor seeds growing, you can put the sprouting pots out of site for a few days and bring them out again once there are satisfying little sprouts to see. It’s like magic!
Gardening with kids is a great way to teach them about how our food is grown and instills in them a respect for our earth. Start planting some seeds today and you can see the tiny plants emerge in time for Earth Day!
we’re starting to get to the point where M&D can get stuff done in the yard with toddler help. One of the things I’ve learned is that she wants to be just like us – so if I’m wearing gloves, I should have gloves for her. If there’s a rake, I should make sure there is something for her to rake that won’t be problematic if she doesn’t do it quite the way I’d want.