For kids a garden is a wonderful place, filled with adventure, experimentation, and learning. From selecting vegetables and flowers, preparing the soil and planting, and finally harvesting, gardening can be a wonderful way to involve children in a healthy and active hobby. Along with the fun of getting dirty, gardening helps children learn valuable lessons about patience as they wait for vegetables and flowers to grow, and responsibility as they see how necessary their care is to the garden.
Sadly, when our own kids were small we didn’t have the luxury of a big garden and so they never really learnt how wonderful it is to grow your own flowers and vegetables. Now, of course, with our rather extensive veggie patches we can at least introduce our grandchildren to the joys of the earth. Our now three your old granddaughter Ruby spends almost every Saturday with us and much of that time is spent in the garden. Ruby has always loved being outside in the sun and wind.
Before she could walk we bought her a little swing to use when we were outside gardening. She loved to sit and watch us work.
Once she could walk she loved to help water the plants.
In fact, it is still her favourite thing to do in the garden.
One of the most important things about vegetable gardening is understanding where food comes from. Ruby has often helped us to harvest our produce, even though she rarely actually eats it!
Sunflowers are a great way to introduce to kids the concept of a plant growing from seed. The sunflower seeds are large enough for a kid to handle and sow.
Ruby loved checking out how much her sunflowers had grown whenever she was over.
Last Christmas we gave Ruby her very own garden bed, gloves, tools and seeds. We waited until the summer was over before planting it. This weekend was the perfect time.
She helped Jamie fill the bed with compost.
He taught her how to spread the compost out and break up the large pieces.
Together we planted seedlings.
And then Ruby sprinkled seeds wherever she liked.
Finally, she watered them all in.
It looked great when we were done!
Gardens can be fabulous places for kids to find new and exciting things.
And they are a great place to spend time together.