Kid-friendly gardening!

June 21, 2010

“Trying to keep my kids under constant surveillance while working in the garden, that was frustrating. Then my oldest daughter wanted to help. And, I, being a good and caring mother, decided she would learn a lot from helping in the garden. Also, I, being an egotistic human, thought she might even follow in my footsteps and gain a passion for gardening. OK, I was right and wrong.”
From the article Gardening the Kid-Friendly Way

When I saw the title of the article “Gardening the Kid-Friendly Way”, I was interested. Then I read the above passage and I was definitely hooked. This author could offer me advice! Yes! In this article she presented her own experience, along with some helpful ways of showing the kid-gardener the joy of growing. It is a good read.

I have a 4 year old grandson who is in love with the “idea” of growing vegetables. His two and one half year old brother loves eating anything he picks off a bush or a vine. Blueberries, cherry tomatoes — green and red –, strawberries — they do not get a chance to turn red — , and beans go directly from the plant to his dirty hand to his mouth.

I bought them some seed tape for growing lettuce and a cherry tomato plant this spring. We planted it all. The lettuce did not grow; the tomato plant wilted. I discovered that if I was not there to take care of the plantings, they died or underperformed. Remember I said the 4 yr. old loved the “idea” of having a garden? Well, little ones are just not ready to understand that a garden cannot take care of itself. Since I do not live next door to them, it was left up to their mom (my daughter) to tend the patch of planted earth. Since she works part-time and has three youngsters to raise, her priority was not growing vegetables.

Lesson I learned: teach the kids about gardening by doing a good job of gardening YOURSELF! Show them what to do every year until they really want to garden. Do not expect them to really get it.

Another lesson learned: do plant what they are interested in. Coopy loves tomatoes, Bubbie loves beans. Babycakes (the older sister who is 6) loves picking lettuce and eating it in a “sallit”.

The joy in you see in their faces is so wonderful as they bite into the harvest. Treasure that.

A Footnote: My daughter of the three kids asked the Easter Bunny to bring some seeds for the kids to plant. Those seeds are doing nicely. They will continue to do well until vacation time comes. Ahh. The joy.

Next year I will probably just buy this game for my grand kids:Harvest Time.

gardening game for kids

Harvest Time Game

Now go and dig in the dirt for your own self-satisfaction!

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