Kids have been home for months now and with summer on our doorstep, many parents are looking for kid activities. Gardening is the perfect solution. Here's some ideas for starting a kids garden with your young children this summer.
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For kids up to grade 4, look for their input into what to plant and how to decorate the garden. If they are hesistant to garden, find out why. Maybe they don't like to get dirty so provide gloves and have designated work clothes. Maybe they don't like insects, so create a container garden with potting soil to minimize their contact with soil creatures.
Make it clear where the garden is with obvious pathways, raised beds and containers. Choose sensory plants, like lambs ears flowers with soft velvety leaves, mint with fragrant leaves and, of course, their favorite veggies such as cherry tomatoes, peas, beans and carrots. Let the kids suggest what vegetables, flowers and herbs to grow, even if it's a stretch. It's more important to try and have them engaged than to just grow what you think is best.
Have your kids work together and use props to decorate the garden, perhaps based on a favorite character from a show or book. Create special nooks for kids to play without gardening. It's important that kids enjoy the space and want to be there. They'll be more likely to help in the garden in summer. Sunflower houses, kid sized benches and seating, a fenced in area, and a grassy or straw mulched place for playing, all make the garden an inviting place. Check out kidsgardening.org for more ideas.