Spring is upon us which means its time to get out in the yard and get things under control after the long winter. Depending on your situation, taking care of your yard can be quite the undertaking. There’s grass to mow, hedges and trees to trim, flowers to plant, weeds to pull, and gardens to, well, garden.
While maintaining your yard can be a big job, it can also be a fun family activity. The trick is to get your little one’s interested in and excited about gardening from a young age, and to do that you want to figure out what the best plants for kids are. Trying to grow things that are for the more experienced gardener can be disappointing for little ones-especially if they don’t grow.
Recently, my son went to a birthday party and they handed out small plants as party favors rather than the “traditional” goodie bag loaded with sugar and plastic toys. This is a brilliant idea! Not only is it unique but plants for kids can help teach responsibility and help them learn how exciting it can be to nurture something and watch it flourish.
Though my son is only two years old, I fully intend to have him help out with our small garden. I want him to get excited watching our plants grow, and I hope that growing things will somehow encourage my little picky eater to consume a vegetable or two. Plus, what a great learning experience gardening can be-so, what are the best plants for kids to grow?
According to The Road to the Good Life, the following are highly recommended edible plants for kids to grow:
Peas are a great plant for kids because they are easy to grow and look so whimsical as they climb up and twine around a trellis. Honestly, they look like something from a fairytale. Plus kids will have a blast busting open the pods to get the peas out.
Carrots may not be a ton of fun to watch grow, but this easy plant for kids is sure to be a favorite once it comes time to do the picking. Kids will love pulling them out of the ground. Plus you can choose from a variety of really beautiful shades all the way from golden yellow to deep purple.
Radishes are a great plant for kids because they’re one of the fastest growing options. Kids, especially the really young ones, are notorious for their short attention spans, so going with a plant that will provide them some kind of “reward” quickly is probably wise.
If your little ones love Halloween, and what kid doesn’t, consider planting some pumpkins. As they watch the pumpkins grow, entertain them with stories about how you’ll carve the pumpkin to make an awesome Jack-O-Lantern at Halloween and even bake the pumpkin seeds.
Sunflowers are a fun plant for kids and parents alike. First off, they’re gorgeous. Second off, there really is something charming about their height and grander. Once they grow taller than your little ones you can play all sorts of make-believe games in the garden. For example, pretend your children have been shrunken down to the size of ants.
Strawberries are the perfect plant for kids who are picky eaters. After all, who wouldn’t love these juicy, sweet treats straight from Mother Nature?
Cherry tomatoes are an easy plant for kids to grow-in fact, be careful or they may take over your entire garden. Bonus: they’re great to eat straight off the vine.
One way to get your little one excited about gardening and to learn more about plants for kids is through reading. Head to your local library, used bookstore, or check out Amazon.com to find great titles like these:
- Time For Kids: Plants! (Time for Kids Science Scoops)
- How a Seed Grows (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science)
- From Seed to Plant
- The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds: A Book About How Living Things Grow
- How Plants Grow (Time for Kids Nonfiction Readers)
A final way to get your children keyed up about gardening this spring and summer is to buy them their own little gardening tools. You can find child-sized gardening tools at pretty much any home and garden store or buy them online from Amazon.com.
What are you waiting for? Warm weather is here to stay. Get out in the garden and create your own peaceful paradise with your little ones!
For more gardening inspiration, follow Freebie Finding Mom’s Gardening and Landscaping Pinterest board.
Do you know of any other great plants for kids or tips to get kids excited about gardening? If so, share them in the comments!