How to Get Kids to Enjoy Gardening

Share your love of gardening with the little ones with tips on helping them get outside and get growing.

Kids in a Vegetable Garden.

Get Your Kids to Enjoy Gardening

Kids love to explore in the garden.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Kids love to explore in the garden.

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Gardening is a wonderful activity to share with your kids. It is a great way to get the kids outdoors, get exercise and teach them how to eat what they grow. Regardless of age, there is something for everyone to do. Here are some tips to help get kids excited about gardening:

Give them their own space.
Kids love to dig in the dirt. Give them a space of their own to play in. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; a small planter box or pot will do. Make sure the space offers plenty of room for little ones to get in so they can weed and water.

Let them decide what they want to plant.
This will offer an opportunity to teach them the needs of plants. Some popular choices are carrots, pumpkins, potatoes and sunflowers. Kids like to grow plants they recognize. This is a great way to get that non-vegetable eating child of yours to try some veggies. You will be surprised what kids are willing to try when they grow it themselves.

Give them kid-sized tools.
Kids love things that are their size. Get them a set of kid-sized tools to help them garden. Kids love to play dress up; get them gloves, a hat, trowel and watering can to start. Kid-sized tools are safer for them to use. Once the kids are dressed for the part, they will be more excited about getting into the garden.

Give them a job.
Perhaps your child does not like to take out the garbage—but watering the garden is much more fun! What kid doesn’t like to play in the water? Even young children like to “help” and will be very willing to do an assigned job because it makes them feel responsible. Little jobs like weeding, watering and taking items to the compost pile are easy jobs for little ones to do.

Let them explore.
Give them the opportunity to explore. Let them dig around in the dirt and discover the critters that live in the soil. Kids are naturally curious and it’s that curiosity that helps them learn. Have them explore different scents and textures of plants, then use the opportunity to teach them. You’ll be surprised how much information they absorb.

Suggestion for Parents
Be patient. Some kids might show interest immediately and then get distracted 15 minutes later. Sometimes a little watering session might turn into an impromptu sprinkler water park. Don’t stress about it. Remember that the goal is to create a positive memory. Even if they do not carry your passion for gardening into the future, they will look back and remember fun times in the garden with the family.

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