Check us out! We’re eating some of the great food we’ve been growing in our own garden. Our salad consists of red and green leaf lettuce, shelling peas, and strawberries, yummy! Below are a few tips for gardening with your kids at home.
Consider Your KidsDepending on their age, children take to gardening differently. For example, preschoolers tend to be fascinated with exploring dirt, seeds and the garden hose, while older children are more interested in how a single seed turns into an edible plant.
Make Kids Part of the Planting Process“Let kids choose fruits or veggies they enjoy eating,” Kuzemchak says. While older kids can read seed packets and start to understand growing regions, younger ones may not understand that it’s probably not possible to grow oranges in northern Maine. Suggest fun, reliable plants such as purple carrots and striped beets, and make sure you plant a couple of sure bets for your region of the country.
Go HerbalHerbs are perhaps the easiest plants to grow and can be a good place to start to interest kids in gardening. Herbs grow like weeds, so you’ll probably have more than enough. Choose one or two herbs to start, such as parsley, basil or rosemary. Don’t worry if you have too much by summer’s end. An excess of basil can be made into pesto, frozen in ice cube trays and stored in the freezer to use during the fall and winter. And, all herbs can be dried.
Dig What Grows Below GroundWhat’s more fun for a kid than yanking a carrot she planted out of the ground, washing it and taking a bite? Beets, another “underground” crop are colorful and can be a great way to get a child to try a new vegetable. Potatoes are easy to grow and are kid favorites. “For kids, digging for potatoes is like digging for buried treasure,” Kuzemchak says.
Gardening for the Space-ChallengedNo yard? No problem! Kuzemchak recommends using large pots placed on the patio or porch to grow foods such as tomatoes, salad greens and even cucumbers. “Or, plant a row of small herb pots on a windowsill,” she says. “Kids can pick the herbs you need for the meal.” And, if they are old enough, let them cut the herbs with kitchen shears.
Little Genius Montessori offers extended care hours from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., full-time & part-time schedules are available. Also, integrating healthy, nutritional food choices into snacks & meals is an essential part of assisting proper growth for our children. Learn more about our programs here.
SRC: Learn mroe about Gardening with Kids at: www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/easy-foods-kids-can-grow-in-the-garden