Gardening With Kids and Giveaway!

Today’s guest post is from Valerie  the author of Frugal Family Fun Blog where  she writes daily about her obsession with inexpensive crafts, family activities, and all around good times on a budget! For the past couple of years, her family has rented a 600 square foot garden plot from her township that proved to be an endless source of learning opportunities for her daughter Emily.
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Getting Started In early Spring, we had lots of fun starting seeds indoors! This helped to give Emily an appreciation for how long it takes plants to grow. She took very good care of her seedlings.

Next, we planted seeds and transfered some of the seedlings over to the garden plot. We found it helpful to have a kid-friendly garden layout, so as to avoid any little feet accidently squashing plants. Some good options include: raised beds, container gardening, or going with a square foot garden layout.

Kid-Friendly Garden Ideas

1. Raised Beds

2. Container Gardening

3. Square Foot Garden Layout

We chose to go with a square foot layout, which gave us plenty of vegetables and was a clear way for Emily to navigate her way around the garden without fear of stepping on any of the seedlings.

To be even more kid-friendly, we even gave Emily her very own space within our lot where she could grow whatever vegetables or flowers she wanted. She chose lots of broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce, and marigolds!

If possible, give your child his/her own special garden space!

Ten Gardening Chores Kids Can Do:

  1. Planting Seeds
  2. Making Seed Markers
  3. Watering Plants
  4. Weeding (with supervision)
  5. Harvesting Vegetables
  6. Loosening Soil
  7. Laying Down Straw
  8. Decorating the Garden (handmade mobiles, pinwheels, banners, etc.)
  9. Picking off bugs.
  10. Collecting Seeds for Next Year’s Garden

Garden Themed Books! Of course, we took advantage of our local public library as much as possible over the course of the Summer. Our favorite “garden” reads are The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss….

….and Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.

Garden Crafts!
Some of our favorite garden activities were making garden stones using quick dry cement, an empty cereal box for a mold, and decorating with glass gems and sea shells…..

….and decorating a photo frame with dried beans (which Emily learned are also seeds). There are many more gardening craft ideas on Frugal Family Fun Blog too!

With lots of hard work, our garden was in full bloom!

Gardening is one of the best ways for kids to learn about where their food comes from, basic plant biology, and exposes kids to nature. As an added bonus, we saved lots of money by growing our own organic vegetables! I made a fun garden goody bag for Emily to harvest her vegetables in, and it was a great hit! I love to share good things, so I thought you might like one too!

Now the fun part — One lucky reader will win a personalized garden goody bag, similar to the one shown above! To enter, leave a comment on this post and be sure to leave your email address in the comments field. Giveaway is open to all US and Canadian residents. Winner will be chosen by random.org and giveaway ends Saturday, June 19th @ 6:30PM EST.

Good luck!!

Congrats Luna!!  You Won. Check your email !

Comments

  1. Brandi says

    What a cute little bag! We are definitely going to make gardening a part of our homeschool next year-waited too late to start our plants this time around. Thanks for some great ideas!

  2. Ida says

    This is so great! We have a garden in our backyard and our son loves it! He is still a bit young for actual planting, but he did help with the peas. Now that they are starting to become ready for harvesting, he has been eating them straight from the pod. He waters as much as we will allow him with his little yellow watering can. And just yesterday he “helped” weed with his hand rake.

  3. says

    Looks like she’s really enjoying the gardening! I may need to look at the square foot layout for next year….we’ve had some stuff get squished by the girls (and dad). What a great giveaway!

    Joesette
    (tjohuffman at verizon dot net)
    .-= Joesette´s last blog ..Field Trips and Hospital Visits =-.

  4. Charla says

    I’m not much of a gardener, but last month my 2 year old and I planted some flower seeds in our backyard. So far we only have a few sprouts, but it was a great experience. DD loved planting the flowers and even walks around the house saying, ‘I plant flowers’. Thanks for sharing these ideas and for your blog.

  5. Trisha says

    We are growing carrots on the deck, and my son checks them every day. This would be the perfect bag to harvest them in. It is fun to see two of my favorite blogs together here. My e-mail is tthorme at yahoo.

  6. Danielle says

    I love it! We started a garden this year and are attempting to grow potatoes, tomatoes, green beens and cucumbers. We live in such a dry climate and recently had snow so it’s hard to explain to my child why the seeds aren’t sprouting yet!!

  7. Aly says

    I love this idea, we just started a garden in our yard, right now it’s just flowers…but if all goes well we hope to add a vegetable section next year. We have planted all flowers that attract butterflies, and we enjoy seeing all of the different color butterflies, and then learning about them! Thanks for sharing!

  8. says

    This is just our second year to have a (very tiny) garden. I hope to grow it each year~the kiddos love it!

    Lora @ my blessed life
    ([email protected])
    .-= Lora´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday {on Tuesday} =-.

  9. Donna says

    My daughter (2 1/2) loves helping with the garden. It is my first year with a vegie garden and we have both learned so much!

    I would love to be able to give her such a sweet little bag, she would love it!

  10. Ashley says

    We started a garden this year with the vegetables that my daughter loves to eat. She loves to watch Daddy water and weed. Our only problem is that the bunnies keep eating our plants.

  11. says

    Great post! Such great tips! We would love the goody bag. I know my Michael would love it!

    beccathorn7(at)gmail(dot)com

    Thanks

  12. Kelly W says

    We have our own little garden and 3 year old Emma LOVES to plant and watch the seeds grow. Great post! (kwtexas AT gmail DOT com)

  13. says

    Yay! Open to Canadian residents!

    What a great give away. We are fairly new to gardening and something like this would be very handy indeed!

    Thanks,
    Tricia :)

    triciaorchard at gmail dot com
    .-= The Orchard´s last blog ..Even More Postcards! =-.

  14. Carly says

    We did square foot gardening too and my 2 1/2 year old loves watching her “baby” vegetables grow! A harvesting sack would be great for her!

  15. Sharon says

    Great guest blog and I was glad to see that Valerie is a fellow Bucknell grad! Thanks for introducing another great blog. I tend to have a black thumb when it comes to plants so I stick w/trips to the farmer’s market.

  16. christi says

    What a great post! One of our favourite gardening books is called Tops and Bottoms! It always gets the kids in the helping mode! :-)

  17. Martha says

    Not too many cool things for kids these days, but my daughter is growing a real plant that MOVES when you Tickle IT! It’s called the TickleMe Plant The leaves instantly close and the branches move when Tickled. It even produces candy cotton like pink flowers!
    It’s a must have grow kit. We found it at http://www.ticklemeplant.com you gotta love that video!

  18. RG says

    We so wanted to do a garden this year, but there has been nothing but rain here, no chance for the ground to dry out enough to till. We have 3 in. of standing water all over our yard. Do you think it is too late to plant if it dries by Saturday? Anyway, those bags are so sweet. Would love to win, thanks for a chance at it!

  19. Nicola says

    What a great little bag! We have planted a tiny little garden for the first time ever – three weeks ago, and my 5-year old daughter loves to look every morning to see how much things have grown.

  20. says

    That little bag is adorable :)

    This is our first year with our daughter and we just secured membership in a local community garden. When we moved in February, we lost our backyard space, so we’re back to communal gardening this season. We’re looking forward to showing her the ropes!
    .-= Jo @ Parenting Poppy´s last blog ..Oh, Books! How I’ve Missed You! =-.

  21. Allison says

    What a great post. We have a nice little tomato crop growing, as well as a few spices, and hope to expand it next year.

  22. Heather N says

    What a great post and what a cute bag!!! I introduced my daughter to gardening last year when she was 3. We recently moved and are renting while we get to know the area, so we don’t have a dig-able yard. I miss having my hands in the earth. Thanks for the giveaway.

    hjnagel at hotmail dot com

  23. Sarah B says

    What a neat post! I’ve thought of doing some gardening with my son. He sure loves dirt! Maybe a gardening gift bag would give me a kick start :)

  24. Angel Jones says

    Cutie patootie!! We started our 20 month old gardening this year! She wants to dig in the dirt all the time! She’d love the bag for harvesting or tool carrying.

  25. Nancy says

  26. judith oh says

    i love your website. thank you for the ideas on how to introduce gardening to the very young.

  27. says

    Gardening is just one of those things that I love in theory, but when it comes to actually doing it, I’m not very good at it! I’d love to check out the book, “The Carrot Seed” though, and maybe give gardening another whirl :)

  28. Jelena says

    That is really cute! I have been meaning to work on my garden, I’m just not really that great at it.

  29. Eileen says

    I like your ideas. We have a very small area that would actually be in front of our house probably.

  30. says

    Love the idea of letting the kids have their very own lot for growing veggies! What a great way to let them explore! mwilson518 at gmail dot com

  31. Angie Bryant says

    I loved your idea about the garden stepping stone with a cereal box mold….so resourceful….I too wanted to start a garden this year but didn’t get to, but I want to do it next year with my boys. It will be a great learning time for them as I will be home schooling them as well. thanks for the ideas.

  32. says

    Thanks for the great tips! I just reserved those books online at our local library. I think my son, Alistair would love to have his own gardening bag.

  33. Laura N. says

    My son and I started a container garden this summer. We planted the seeds and watched them grow together. It’s been a great summer project.

  34. Alexa says

    Gardening has been such a great way to connect my kids with their food. We’ve even been able to share our “bounty” of snails with a snail-loving classmate. We’re lucky to have a Community Garden plot just up the hill. Lots of sun, new friends, and the chance to see what all sorts of things look like when they’re growing.

    Alexa (at) Ogno (dot) org

  35. Alexa says

    And to all those who don’t think they have room to grow anything, think about the sidewalk or the fire escape. Any spot of sun will do. We’ve got nothing but asphalt out front and shade in back, but we make do. I trash-picked some big containers and set them on the sidewalk. A few have perennials (mint, chives, sage, oregano), so there’s almost always something growing. Self-seeding morning glories climb the porch rail from their pot and also come back every year. I pick up herb plants at the grocery store, too. A few more pots have stuff I actually attempt to grow from seed, but if I don’t get around to it, they fill up with verdant weeds. So it’s not a Martha Stewart show piece, but it’s nicer than the asphalt.

    I mark the pots of the edibles with sidewalk chalk and offer them up to passers-by who comment while I’m out working on them.

  36. Sarah says

    We are growing our own herbs and a few vegetables this year. Im always looking for ways to make the garden ‘new’ and exciting for my 3.5 and 10 mos old. The goody bag is a great idea!

  37. says

    We love gardening too! It’s so much fun having a little one who gets such joy from all the surprises that gardening can bring. Thanks so much for offering such a nice giveaway.
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..The Ants Go Marching… =-.

  38. Laura says

    I love the gardening bag! We are growing a garden for the first year and the kids are learning all about what it takes for a fruitful harvest. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  39. says

    My boys and I are enjoying gardening this summer as well. I’m glad I found your site. I’ll be reading more.

  40. Hope says

    Love your blog… It has brought so much family to my family! Cannot wait to make cereal box stepping stones for our garden!

  41. marilyn says

    We LOVE gardening at our house. Love your ideas and need to come here more often!!!!

  42. says

    What a cute post and giveaway. I like the list of gardening chores kids can do – a lot of times I have a hard time thinking of what exactly we can let our preschooler help with. He planted flowers for the first time this year and it was very exciting for him to watch them grow :)
    .-= Larry @ Cakeblast´s last blog ..(3 Winners) Children’s Scholastic Books – Funny Lunch and Firehouse =-.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This is an excellent resource for kids and gardening.Great ideas for hands on interactive learning in the garden from starting and planning the garden to indoor play and activities. Love the book resources as well! Gardening is one of the best ways for kids to learn about where their food comes from, basic plant biology, and exposes kids to nature. As an added bonus, we saved lots of money by growing our own organic vegetables! via notimeforflashcards.com […]