Vegetable Gardening with Kids

Cultiver un potager avec ses enfants par MYKE

Kids love to help in the garden and it’s a fun, educational way to teach them about not only eating healthy, but where their food comes from and what it takes to get it onto their dinner plate.

When gardening with kids, it’s important to make the garden accessible and fun for them. Allow them to help design the garden and pick out the plants so they feel a connection with it. When people are involved in the planning of something, even little people, they tend to care about the outcome.

 

Create a garden of their own

Include at least one small raised bed in the garden that the kids can access and care for themselves. This will keep them from “accidently” tromping on Mom’s other produce but allow them to care for a garden of their very own.

Give them kid sized gardening tools and teach them about watering, weeding and harvesting. Allow the kids to actually take on these responsibilities even if they are not done perfectly. How else will they learn?

 

Choose easy and fun veggies

Choose vegetables that are fun to watch grow, whether that means radishes that grow rapidly or pumpkins with their meandering habit and giant leaves. Carrots and peas are always kid pleasers since they are some of the first vegetables they eat and can identify, but don’t stop there!

Experiment with other vegetables that the kids may never have tasted. This is a great way to get them to try something new. Maybe include some of the colorful varieties of beets, Swiss chard, tomatoes or peppers.

 

Let them play!

Add an element of play by creating planting structures the kids can interact with. Bean tepees are easy to build out of five or more stakes bound at the top. Plant corn in a square “house.” As the corn grows, the kids can fit inside. Try to grow a giant blue ribbon, milk fed pumpkin! Okay, maybe that’s over the top, but do make the gardening fun and age appropriate.

Lastly, when gardening with children, take an organic approach. You probably don’t want your children around any toxic pesticides or insecticides. In fact, kids are fascinated by bugs and can be put to work hand picking pests off the garden plants!

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