Summer Fun – Gardening For Kids

gardening for kidsFor twenty years, I have instructed children at Community Centers and Summer Recreational Youth Programs how to plant vegetables, flowers and herbs.

Children are very aware of the world around them. Nurturing a plant teaches a child responsibility and self-esteem. Involving them in planting tiny seeds teaches them patience and a sense of accomplishment.

Take the children shopping with you when selecting the seeds. They can proudly say it’s their garden. Good choices for first time gardeners are easy to grow vegetables like, radishes, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, marigold seeds and a few herb seeds. Make this a special time in their young lives by explaining to them that plants are just like people, they need food, water and sun.

Simple things you already have around the house can be used to hold the potting soil, seeds and plants. Gallon milk jugs make great planters, rinse them before using. Cut the top 4 inches off of the milk jug and poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill the jug 2/3 full of potting soil, moisten the soil, and sprinkle the seeds on top. Be sure to place the jugs in the sun. Water the seedlings once a week, or more often if the weather is hot. Let the children decorate the jugs with stickers or let them draw designs using magic markers.

Yogurt cups, margarine tubs, sand buckets, make cute planters for one or two marigold flowers or a few radishes. Poke several holes in the bottom of the containers, fill it with potting soil, and sow the seeds. Place the containers in a warm, sunny area.

Check yard sales for used pots and planters. Take the kids with you, and let them choose something. They may want to fill an old sneaker with potting soil and plant some flowers or an herb plant. Encourage their imagination.

I’ll be adding several ideas and suggestions for the month of June. School will be out soon, and outdoor projects are important, so the kids don’t spend all their time indoors  watching television.

~Meadow Walker

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