One thing I love about living in Southern California is that there really isn’t a time where I have to stop planting. We have something growing in our raised beds year-round. Plus more growing in our plot at the community garden. Over the past 3 years we’ve come up with some fun and creative kid friendly gardening ideas that help involve our children into our gardening plans.
Not only has it helped them learn where their food comes from, it’s also helped us get some fun bonding time outside when we’re gardening together. Plus? As an added benefit we’re getting some awesome veggies and herbs on our tables that taste amazingly good.
We also have some fabulous resources in the San Diego area to help us growing and learning as we go. If you’re in the San Diego area I highly suggest you check out City Farmers Nursery (central San Diego) and the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle (northern coastal San Diego) for great tips on growing, education, and kid-friendly ways to do both!
Kid Friendly Gardening Ideas
1. Let your kids choose the plants –
Whether your planting from seed or planting starter plants, grab a list of the vegetables that are grown in that season and let your child choose what they want to plant. We always go with one we have grown already and know we like it, one we want to try to grow because we like it, and one odd ball that we’ve never tried to grow and never tried to eat.
This year we’ve started our broccoli (already planted and know we like), cauliflower (we want to try this because we know we like it), and beets (we’ve never tasted or tried to grow them). It should be interesting in a few weeks when our seeds start sprouting!
2. Hands on learning –
Whether it’s putting the seeds in the ground, watering, or fertilizing, give your child a job and let them do it. My 3 year old loves to plant from seed and water. So she’s given the task of watering our seedlings every day. My son… well… he’s a digger! So when we need a hole we always turn to him for the fun part.
When it’s time to harvest the veggies, make sure your kids are the ones picking the vegetables and herbs off to eat. Depending on the vegetable, let them try a bite or two right after they pick it. You’ll be surprised with how adventurous they get when they’re growing their own food.
3. From harvest to table –
Once you’ve taken in your haul, give your child a few recipe ideas on what to make with your veggies and let them help you prepare it!
By growing, picking, and cooking their own food, your kids will come to appreciate the food they eat. And hopefully they’ll learn a thing or two and have fun in the process!