with children is rewarding in many ways. It provides personal, quality time
to interact with them, as well as provides opportunities for teaching and
time gardening with the children in your life is a great way to teach
principles of natural science, agriculture, and depending on your beliefs,
spirituality. Gardening also encourages traits of responsibility,
self-sufficiency and stewardship as children learn to interact with our
planet in this intimate way.
helps to form a bond with the basic components that make up all life forms
on Earth. By raising produce, kids begin to understand that food does
not come from a market but instead, is coaxed from the soil. This
realization helps to form a basis for better understanding the cause and
effects of how we live our lives as consumers. This will hopefully
help them have a better understanding of, and make better decisions
pertaining to, ecology and environmental issues as they mature as
amount of time required by an adult is greatly dependant on
the age of the child, the size of the space, and your personal
interests. It can be a few minutes a day to several hours per
week. You'll be able to tell by the attention span of the
child. When you find that they have wandered off and you are
there weeding alone, you have been at it too long!
The space required is also very flexible. Apartment dwellers can
be creative with containers, lights, and south-facing windows. Fire
escapes, rooftops, and local community garden spaces are also options
is a favorite "chore" and provides an opportunity to
experience plants growing through these efforts. Responsibility
is nurtured as well.
aren't always "work". A lifelong passion can start
at a very young age.
those with larger yards, any amount of space can be dedicated.
However, it can be overwhelming if too much area is provided.
example in these photographs are of a small raised bed (3 feet by 7
feet) constructed out of scrap wood. This creates a confined area
with clear boundaries and is a manageable size for a small child.
interaction is part of this experience. Every step of the process,
from the creation of the garden space to the harvesting of the
fruits of their labor, is a possible learning experience for the
make the lessons too hard and never make them tedious. The goal
is to foster curiosity and make gardening fun. It helps if it
is your passion as well.
also do not need to focus too much attention to what you are
growing. Let the child make choices and guide as
necessary. Don't worry as to whether or not they are going to
like and eat everything.
Small children quickly learn to distinguish a weed
from a vegetable.
All mine! Responsibility is a great trait to nurture through gardening.
Sugar Pod' peas,
Salad Bowl' and
Salad Bowl' leaf lettuce, one tomato
Top White Globe' turnips,
Queen' beets, 'Thumbelina'
carrots, and several
varieties mixed. This provides an interesting diversity to
these might not be vegetables that an adult would have chosen for
the child's garden based on what they normally eat, it is
interesting that something produced by ones own hands tastes
better. At the very least, they will usually try a taste or
two of something different.
have a passion for gardening, share it. Whether it is with
your kids, grandkids, or neighbors, it is an awesome opportunity to
establish close bonds with others while teaching valuable
skills. The world would be a much better place if everyone was
are a bunch of cool links for kids: