Family gardens are evolving spaces, particularly during the early childhood years. In infancy and early toddlerhood, a garden is purely sensory experience. As kids get older, their family garden becomes a site for work, relaxation, and learning. Here are some ideas to get kids engaged and excited about gardening, whether your family is working with a ledge, containers, or a yard.
Visit public gardens and gardening centers together. Talk about different plants and their functions. Make plans and set goals together. Do you want flowers? Herbs? Vegetables? What kind of garden design will work for your family? Bring along a camera, notebook, and colored pencils so your child can start keeping track of what they like.
Compile a kid-friendly gardening library. Sharon Lovejoy's Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children and Jenny Wendy's Gardening Projects for Kids: Fantastic Ideas for Making Things, Growing Plants and Flowers, and Attracting Wildlife to the Garden are great starting points, along with Cindy Krenzel's books on kid-friendly plants and container gardening.
- Have kids drive the details. They can choose or make decorative elements, like selecting containers or making DIY seed markers.