Having a place to have a vegetable garden was top priority when we were house hunting. In fact it was the only request from my two daughters. We just been waiting for the time to come for teaching kids to garden. They were excited and made some requests for what to grow. The requested things to grow list keeps growing: tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and the latest, cauliflower.
Teaching Kids to Garden in Our Homeschool
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When we put in our order, we ended up with over a hundred dollars in seeds ordered. But by no means were we going to be planting each and every seeds ordered in one season, and not just one variety of each, like tomatoes – we have three varieties ordered (tiny ones, ones for salsa, and big juicy ones for sandwiches and salads).
Making sure your kids are interested in what you are growing is key to teaching kids to garden, otherwise they won’t have something to look forward to.
Seeds we ordered:
We ordered a few fun things for the kids – purple carrots, sugar tomatoes (small, perfect for snacking) and cucamelons.
We gave Austin the choice of what kind of cauliflower to order – white (regular), graffiti (purple), or cheddar (orange). She went with white. Why let her choose the type we ordered? Because it makes growing it that much more special for her and more interesting when the time comes to eat it.
How to Include Teaching Kids to Garden:
We have included them in every step so, and they’ll be helping with the planting, because kids have small fingers for small seeds and small weeds. Joking! They’ll be helping too.
We want them to eat everything we grow. They are already great vegetables eaters, a little picky but they eat most of them, like sit down and eat a package of grape tomatoes between the three of them in a sitting.
Tips for including your kids in gardening:
- kid sized tools – shovels, spades, watering cans
- let them pick something out to grow
- let them help plant/weed
- let them harvest – and eat straight from the garden
- The Garden Classroom is a great book full of ideas and ways to include your kids in gardening and getting them to enjoy being outside in general
How to Get Started Teaching Kids to Garden
Start simple with planting your seeds and letting your kids help with planning where and how to space them. This makes a great science lesson in learning how much room plants need to grow and how much sunlight they also need. It’s also a way to work in math when you are spacing plants apart.
Talk about how much water and sunlight they need to grow and when the best time to water plants is, hint: not in the middle of the afternoon.
How do you know when you can start to harvest and eat your vegetables? Your seed/plant packages should be able to give you and your children that information.
Have fun trying the different vegetables both raw, which is our favorite way for most, and cooked in different ways.
After the Gardening is Done
After the garden work is done, and you have delicious fruits and vegetables what do you do? Now is the time to get in the kitchen with your kids. You can teach your kids about cooking and canning.