5 ways to get your kids excited about gardening
By Aimee Heckel
Really, it’s hard to believe all kids don’t naturally beg to garden. They get to dig. They’re supposed to get dirty. They get to pour water on things. They get to use tools that might otherwise be off limits. And it all culminates with eating — with your hands.
It’s almost like Mother Nature designed gardening for children.
Whether you’re a small-box gardener, a farmer or just a staple at your neighborhood farmer’s market, inviting your kids to help garden can be a great way to bond, while teaching them important, life-long lessons, too.
Here are five ways to get your kids excited about gardening this spring:
1. Get them reading, with a gardening book like Grow Your Own for Kids (ages 5 through 11, $14.95 at Forsmallhands.com). This book is bursting with full-color photos and helpful hints on how to succeed with your first garden.
2. Pick up a cute garden tote and tools especially designed for kids. Montessori Services sells a tote kit for $16.95. The seven-pocket tote comes with small tools: a spade, rake and trowel.
3. Let your child pick out her own mini shovel at Ace Hardware. Here, you can find quality shovels — yes, even for kids — for under $10. Order online through ShopAtHome.com and get 3 percent cash back for your little one’s piggy bank.
4. Let your kids pick out their own flower seeds. Visit Homedepot.com and browse the wide selection of seed options, from sunflowers to parsley to wildflowers to sweet corn. Hint: Some of the easiest plants for kids to grow have large seeds that are easy to handle, sprout quickly and grow fast. Consider beans, morning glories, gourds and sunflowers. Basil has small seeds but sprouts quickly.
5. Get creative. Gift Republic sells a Kids Gnome Garden and Beanstalk Kit, $17.95. Grow a “gnome garden,” complete with wheat grass seeds, a bark house, a leaf-shaped pond and toadstools — just add water. Find a gnome garden at Target for $21.95.
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