Are you looking for creative ways to get your kids outside the house and off those devices? Maybe you’re struggling to encourage your kids to eat healthy? Kid-friendly garden projects can accomplish both… and then some.
Your kids will learn about science, nature, and even some math when tending to their plants.
Kids who play outside regularly have stronger immune systems and well-developed motor skills. Plus, getting them away from screen time will do wonders for their bodies and minds. They might even grow in self-confidence and communication skills when planning the garden, planting seeds, maintaining the plants, watching them grow, and enjoying the fresh produce.
Gardening positively affects your child’s brain, body, and soul, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few fun kid-friendly garden projects to try this season.
Paint Your Own Garden Markers
If it’s still too cold outside, you can get excited for the coming season by preparing ahead of time. Start planning which vegetables and produce your family wishes to grow and then have a paint day with the kids! Paint rocks or popsicle sticks to label each plant. Here’s a tutorial for cute rock garden markers with happy faces on them.
Make a Bug Hotel
What kid doesn’t love bugs? When spring begins, take your kids outside for a bug-finding adventure. Scour the yard and garden for insects and track your findings. This is a great way to teach your kids about which bugs are dangerous (wasps!) and which are garden helpers (ladybugs!). You’re also teaching them how to observe their surroundings and record data.
Then, use your newfound knowledge to craft a bug hotel for all the little critters you found. Or reuse old glass bottles to make a hummingbird feeder. Just make sure these projects are supervised by adults.
Subscribe to a Garden Box
Maybe it’s not quite warm enough in your area to get out in the garden? Or maybe you’re strapped for ideas? Subscribing to a garden box is a great way to get your kids developing their green thumb! Subscription boxes come with everything you need for a good project, and they’re a great way to get kids into a hobby they might not have ever tried before.
Start Planting This Year’s Garden
Now that you’ve got a few new plants from your garden box, you’ve made labels for your fruits and vegetables, and you’ve built a bug hotel, it’s time to get the garden growing!
Encourage your kids to get their hands dirty and teach them how to properly bury seeds, care for young plants, and harvest the reward: fresh produce! Peas, kale, beans, carrots, and tomatoes are some easy vegetables to grow with kids.
Plant a Pasta Garden
Grow your own tomatoes, basil, and chives to make fresh pasta sauce. No space for a garden? Grow them in pots. These hardy plants are simple for beginners. In just a couple months after planting, they will be ready to pick and cook… satisfying even the most impatient of little gardeners!
Grow a Hummingbird or Butterfly Garden
Find the native plants in your area that attract these magical creatures. Usually bright purples, yellows, and oranges are magnets for butterflies and hummingbirds. And be sure to include plants with succulent flowers for sipping — another science lesson on what butterflies eat and how they help to propagate the plants.
Family bonding activities, like garden projects, can help nurture self-confidence in kids. Kids learn the value of hard work, persistence, and creative problem solving by dealing with the unpredictable nature of a garden.
Sometimes they’ll succeed and end up with beautiful produce that they’re excited to munch on, and sometimes things won’t work out as they planned.
Either outcome is an opportunity for personal growth.
More helpful resources for gardening with kids
Growing Good Eaters: 5 easy vegetables to grow with kids
Roots, Shoots, Buckets, & Boots: Gardening Together with Children
How I Conquered My Fear of Gardening
Gardening tools for kids
The 10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow from Seed
How to Grow Potatoes in Containers
5 Tips for Growing Your Own Vegetable Seedlings