4 tips for cultivating kids green thumbs
by Melissa Brodsky
With spring on the way, you might have greenery on the mind. As the weather turns warmer, why not get your kids excited about growing some plants of their own? Here are four ideas for cultivating your kids’ green thumbs.
1. Teach Them About Plant Growth
Take your kids out to a local arboretum or nursery to look at the plants and discuss how they grow. Fill them in on the roles the sun, water, and healthy soil play in plant growth. Explain how people can help ensure healthy plant growth, such as by fertilizing, mulching, and weeding. Keep in mind that you don’t have to go far to teach about plants, however. Your garden or a neighbor’s, a local park, or even houseplants can provide fodder for your discussions.
2. Provide Kid-Sized Tools
You can encourage your child’s enthusiasm for gardening by providing kid-sized tools. You can typically find these at local department or home improvement stores as well as at nurseries and online. However, you don’t have to put out extra money to prepare your pint-sized gardener. Instead, you can provide him with spoons, forks, measuring cups, and small pots that you no longer need. Be sure to teach your kids how to use their tools safely.
3. Give Them Space
Give your kids a section of your property for their own garden. This will be their own space for planting, maintaining, and harvesting. Make it small, so they don’t get overwhelmed. If you don’t have land your kids can garden, you can still help them cultivate their green thumbs. Get them started with container gardening or even set up window boxes instead. You might even consider setting up a space (and obtaining equipment) to garden indoors!
4. Choose Kid-Friendly Plants
While you might have the patience to wait weeks to see your plants grow, your kids might get discouraged with a long wait. Let your kids choose quick-to-germinate seeds to sow in their garden space. Alternatively, choose transplants that are quick to bear fruit. Your kids might also enjoy their gardening experience more if you allow them to plant what they enjoy. For example, you might allow them to plant a pizza garden (grow yummy pizza toppings) or choose flowers in their favorite colors.
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