When spring brings warmer weather, many people start digging around in their gardens. Some are serious gardeners that have long range plans and fully expect a return on their efforts, some are more fly by the seat of their pants, and they just want to brighten up their front yard or maybe try a few containers for vegetables and then are pleasantly surprised when they harvest anything. Whatever type of gardener you are you should try to include the children in your family.
Kids learn so many lessons from a garden: identifying plants and to respect them as living things; understanding the growth cycle of plants, identifying necessary ingredients for growth and possibly an understanding of the connection of our food and how we get it. They also can learn the rewards from hard work and patience. It is a great time to spend one-on-one with a child. A time to talk and share without a lot of pressure. Of course fresh air, sunshine and exercise don't hurt those kids any either.
If you're not sure where to start, we have great some books that will be a big help:
"The book of gardening projects for kids: 101 ways to get kids outside, dirty and having fun" by Whitney Cohen – a book for parents with gardening ideas and projects for kids.
"Water,weed, and wait" by Edith Hope Fine – a lively picture book about Miss Marigold, the garden lady, who visits Pepper Lane Elementary to help them transform a weedy, rocky patch of ground into a garden.
"Ready,Set, Grow"- photographs take young gardeners through gardening process step by step.
"A backyard vegetable garden for kids" by Amie Jane Leavitt - Presents information and advice on choosing vegetables, preparing a place for them to grow, and then planting and caring for them.
"Grow it, Cook it" - Shows how to grow plants and then how to use them in delicious kid-appealing recipes, involving kids in food right from the start!
"Young gardener" by Stefan Buczacki – a hands-on gardening book that combines useful information with fun projects that can be done by children, alone or with adults.
For more helpful material about gardening with children, come by the Children’s Help Desk.