Spring is just around the corner. In some places, it has already started! Many of us are planning or even starting our gardens, while many of us are happy to leave that effort to others. Whether you plan to have a huge garden or you don’t plan to have a garden at all, a children’s garden can be a fun project for your family. And now would be the time to make a plan to grow a children’s garden.
Learning and growing
Gardening, even on a very small scale, can help our kids learn in several ways. As they tend to plants, watering them and watching them grow, our kids can learn responsibility. They can learn about the science of plant life, watching things grow from seed or seeing a plant produce a flower, and then fruit. And when your child cuts a flower or harvests a vegetable that he grew himself, he will grow in self confidence. These are all wonderful reasons to grow a children’s garden.
Gardening is a great way to get outside! We all know that it’s good for us to spend time outdoors. However, knowing this doesn’t always help us to make it happen. My own kids moan and groan when I make them go outside, but it’s not long before I hear giggles and happy squeals coming from the back yard. And then they really don’t want to come inside. Growing a children’s garden will give them another reason to enjoy being outside.
Go all out or keep it simple
If you want to go all out, you can make a large, beautiful, walk-through style garden with your kids. Map out a plan for your yard, thinking through what plants you want, what plants work with your yard, and how you will water them. You can build raised beds or plant in the ground. You can make winding paths or straight ones. This is a chance to be super creative if you’re willing to do the work.
For something smaller and simpler, you could make a small bed for flowers or for vegetables. Or you could mix flowers and vegetables. Keep it simple and manageable. One bed would not require much work and would take up very little space in your yard. And you can fit a lot in one plant bed. This would be more manageable for children, too.
Another fun plant project is to arrange plant supports in a circle, and then lean them over to form a structure like a tepee or a little hut. Then plant tall or vining plants around the circle, and let them grow up the supports. This creates a little hideaway fort for your kids.
And for something even simpler, get a big plant pot, and plant a few flowers, herbs, a vegetable, or a combination of these. A pot of plants can be managed even on a patio or on an apartment balcony. You can grow a tomato plant in a pot. A pot could hold a little herb garden. Or it could make a lovely little flower display. You could make your pot of plants into a little fairy garden. Your child will love to play with their toys in their own fairy garden.
We have some great programming at My Signing Time to help your kids learn about plants and about being outside. Our Rachel and the TreeSchoolers series has an episode about plants and flowers (watch 5 Spring Flowers), and the Rachel and Me series has shows about going outside in the summer and in the winter. At Home with Rachel is all about In a Garden. Signing Time Season 2 has an episode about going outside and Season 1 does too! We think it’s pretty important for kids to head outside! (Some links above require a My Signing Time Subscription).
So as we head into spring, think about ways to help your kids have a little garden of their own. Whether you plan a big garden, a single garden bed, a big pot, or whatever form that works for you, this will be a great experience for you and your kids.