When I was a kid, my mom made a point to have my sister and I get out in the garden. Regardless of whether or not we actually cultivated anything successfully (we didn't), she thought we needed to learn the amount of work that actually goes into producing food (that we definitely did). It's important for kids to understand that carrots and green beans don't magically appear on the table or come mysteriously from a bag at the store. The best way for them to develop an understanding of how the world works is to get out there and do something hands-on for themselves. And in spite of my sister and I's failures, there were a number of successes. There's something so joyful in watching a tiny seed turn into a big plant that can actually sustain life. I want to share gardening with my kids so that they feel that sense of accomplishment one day, too.
I think the best way to introduce kids to gardening, as with just about anything, is to start small. Indoor potted plants are easiest because the weather isn't as much of an issue, and fast-growing plants like sunflowers or beans will show kids the fruits of their labor very quickly. We tried out a kit from The Gigglin' Garden Gang that included everything we needed to get started.
The kit used a system just like the Burpee that we use to start our own plants. There's no messy dirt-shoveling involved, and everything is contained in a tiny greenhouse-like structure. Just add water, insert seeds and wait.
Of course, the Gigglin' Garden Gang made this system a lot more fun than our grown-up version. There was a book that taught all about sustainability and a CD with fun songs. Cute little characters help children connect with the idea of gardening on a more personal level. The whole gang is even on social media sites and they have videos online to entertain kids while they plant their garden. When Some Boy is old enough to garden, we'll definitely be making an event of it with this cute book and music.
To see the whole process, check out our Google+ album. For more ideas on how to make gardening with kids fun and easy, visit The Gigglin' Garden Gang Web Site, as well as Sunflower Suzi and Friends on Facebook and @GoGreenNGiggle on Twitter.
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are my own.