Starting a garden with kids is a fun and rewarding activity that you can do as a family.  It teaches responsibility, healthy food choices, and is a great hands-on science activity too!  Here are 10 tips for starting and maintaining a garden…happy growing!

  1. First and foremost…get dirty!  Gardening is all about getting your hands in there and getting messy.  Kids love digging holes in the dirt, pushing seeds into the ground, and spraying the ground with a hose…make it fun and they’ll look forward to their garden time with you.
  2. Grow things that everyone loves to eat, but also plant one or two things to try…when kids grow and take care of plants themselves, they may be more likely to try a new food!
  3. You don’t have to be an expert farmer to have a fantastic garden.  Great gardens can be large or small, simple or complex…grow a garden that is manageable for your family and if you’re new to the world of gardening, start small.  Herbs, tomatoes, and carrots are a great place to start. 
  4. Keep garden time short enough to hold everyone’s attention. 
  5. Make the most out of this learning experience.  Ask questions to get the ball rolling and make them think about what is happening out there:  What is your favorite thing we are growing?  What do plants need to grow?  
  6. If possible give them their own spot or corner of the garden and allow them to grow what they please.  No space?  Even a large pot on a patio or deck will work.  Live in a city?  Try a window box or even a window sill.
  7. Fo older kids, try a themed garden…the ever popular pizza garden (tomatoes, oregano, onion, basil, etc) or perhaps a salad garden too.  Herb gardens are easy and fragrant.
  8. Model patience.  Gardening is a great lesson in patience…while some things come up quickly, other things take longer.  This activity is all about unplugging, enjoying each other’s company, and watching Mother Nature at work!
  9. For very busy families, try planting a family tree instead.  You can plant a tree to commemorate a family milestone like a new home, birth, or a birthday.  As the years pass, it will be fun to see the tree grow along with everyone.
  10. Allow kids to have a snack in the garden and get everyone involved when it’s time to harvest.  Show them how to pick things from the vine and how to wash the dirt off too.

For more family fun, be sure to follow Sparkle & Splatter on Google+, Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest for the latest projects and activities!

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