Gardening can be fun for kids if you have the right tools and the right plants. Plants serve multiple purposes in nature, so take advantage of that to entertain your kids. They attract butterflies, they are edible, and they provide shelter. Not to mention that they reward you for caring for them by being lovely to look at.
First, plant something that will attract butterflies. Of course, if it attracts butterflies it will attract bees, but that’s nature for you. Attracting butterflies and bees or even hummingbirds to your garden will add instant interest and beauty. Point out that your garden is providing food for the butterflies and hummingbirds to give your child a sense of pride when they care for the plant that cares for the creatures.
Second, plant something edible and easy to grow in your area. Planting edible things in your garden is a great way to get kids to enjoy gardening. Small berries are good so that they can grab their own little snacks and larger fruit like pumpkins build anticipation for the harvest. Pumpkin seeds sprout quickly and the fruit is ready to harvest in about 120 days.
Third, consider large flowers like sunflowers. You could plant a large square of sunflowers with a small gap. Sunflowers are fast growing annual flowers. When they get to their full height you’ll have a small outdoor room for your child to play in like a secret hiding place or a clubhouse made of flowers.
Finally, use child-friendly tools in your garden. A nice small watering can for a very small child can make them feel useful. Water hoses and sprinklers are a lot of fun for older children. Some small children just like to have a place to dig and get dirty so picking out a good plastic shovel might be a good idea.
Teaching your child to love gardening is teaching them to love nature. It’s helpful for children to know how food is grown. It’s also good for them to see how an insect like a butterfly can interact with a plant that we place in our gardens. Gardening is an activity where children can see clear results from their care and effort. If they plant more seeds, they get more plants. If they care for the plants regularly, the plants will be healthier. It doesn’t all have to be a lesson, but over time they will see results on their own. Here are some basic safety tips for you and your kids in the garden. Happy Gardening!