*Involve the children in picking out the seeds or plants! Their sense of ownership and excitement for gardening is amplified when they are decision makers in what is planted.
* Keep kids involved in ALL steps — selecting, buying, planting, caring & harvesting! Include composting too so children see the full cycle. One of my children’s favorite job is turning the soil and adding fresh compost to the garden bed. It’s fun to see that rich dark soil and imagine all the wonderful things that will grow there!
Indoor plants spider plants, hens & chicks, Swedish ivy, African violets, Boston Ferns, and Venus Fly Traps are all great plants for kids to tend year-round. Indoor plants help improve the air quality and children benefit by caring for live plants.
Flowers — are always enjoyable because of their color and aroma, favorites include:
Geraniums – a favorite because they will bloom nearly all summer and are easy to overwinter indoors. I love that they even bloom indoors in the winter!
Marigold – easy to grow, come in wide variety of sizes and colors, and easy to dry & collect the seeds. I like to start marigolds in March to be ready as Mother’s Day gifts in May!
Sunflowers– easy to grow, select a variety of sizes from 3 foot to the Mammoth 12ft variety, lots of different colors. Observe them throughout the day to see how the flower moves to gather sunlight. When done flowering, cut off the flower head and dry for several weeks. Collect seeds by shaking them into a bag. Use to feed the birds or save for the next planting season.
Hollyhock– grows very tall and once established comes back year after year
Snapdragons – unique shape, imaginative name, and beautiful colors
Lambs Ear – is a fuzzy and soft plant that is silvery-green. Kids love to rub the velvety leaves!
Herbs — are fragrant, easy to grow, and most are perennials (which means they come back each year). Make a Pizza Garden with oregano, thyme, and basil. Dill is easy to sprout and the foliage is feathery and unique. Mints should be grown in a separate patch so it can grow untamed, just don’t plant too near to your garden because it can be invasive. Mint comes in a wide variety including orange, chocolate, lemon, and pineapple.
Vegetables — are wonderful to grow to show children where their food comes from. Often reluctant eaters will eat the vegetables that they have helped to grow. Favorites include lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, peas, beans, and pumpkins. Radishes are quick to grow and help satisfy kid’s eagerness to pick something!
Fruit — berries are a favorite for children. Strawberries are an early crop so consider having at least a few plants. Blueberries, black berries, and raspberries are wonderful to pick fresh with children. Once established you will be picking these for years to come. Think long term and plant an apple tree!
Children will enjoy the plants that you enjoy. Help them select a few and get their fingers into the soil!
Check out my Pinterest board for more information about gardening with children: