Introducing Little Ones to Gardening

by Merissa on June 18, 2014

in Gardening 101

Introducing Little Ones to Gardening - Little House Living

Introducing Little Ones to Gardening

Last year while we were living in the rv we didn't have much of a garden, although I did plant a few container vegetables to at least have something green growing in our space.  This year we have a huge garden that is healthy and growing right out back behind our farmhouse.

I thought this year would also be a good year to start introducing our oldest to gardening. Of course, he's only 2 so there is only so much he can do and understand right now. But I'm constantly amazed at how much he understands when we work on teaching him life skills and how much he picks up on so fast.

So today I thought I would share some of the little things I've been doing with Farmer Boy to introduce him to the joy of gardening. I hope that you can use some of these ideas with your own family and please share your tips to introducing little ones in the comments as well!

Get Them Their Own Tools

We found some little kid sized garden tools for Farmer Boy online here. I like this set because it's made from real wood and metal instead of plastic.  I've also seen larger sets that have kid sized shovels and rakes for sale at the local hardware store. Those would be good for before the garden is planted but we skipped them because I was a little worried about Farmer Boy digging up plants with them instead of just dirt.

Let Them Feel Important When Picking

Farmer Boy likes to pick veggies and put them in my garden tubs but I also gave him his own little bucket to pick with as well. This gives us the chance to pick together so I can show him to different colors and what is ready to pick and what is not. This is a great way to teach preschoolers their colors!

Wash Produce Together

When we are ready to use our produce, our little guy loves helping wash everything! This could be done outside if you wash your produce before you bring it in the house too, you know a mess is going to be made but it's a great way to cool down!

Introducing Little Ones to Gardening

Let Them Enjoy a Mid-Pick Snack

What fun would a garden be if you didn't take a break to munch on some sugar snap peas mid-pick? Since we don't use chemicals on our plants, it's ok for us to have a little snack in the garden from what we are picking. It also helps show Farmer Boy that we aren't just doing work but this is food we can and are going to eat!

Make Crafts for the Garden Space

There are so many fun crafts that you can do together to spruce up the garden and your little one will love seeing their projects in that important place. Try things like homemade stepping stones or homemade bird feeders.

There are so many fun things that you can do together in the garden that will help your little one learn at the same time! We are having a great summer already and I know that Farmer Boy is learning a lot. These are skills that he can use his entire life and I'm glad for the chance to get to teach him these things and teach him to love them so early in life!

The Gardening and Preserving Journal is here! If you are gardening or planning on doing any preserving this year, you NEED this wonderful sprial bound journal! Get your own copy here.

 

What are some ways you can introduce your little ones to gardening? How do they help you in the garden?

merissabio

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6:00 am

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca June 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

My kids are NOT allowed to help pick green beans, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries… any more. They eat 2 for every 1 they put in the bucket!! Tomatoes are safe, they don’t like to eat raw tomatoes!

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2 Julie June 18, 2014 at 12:34 pm

My little one likes to make the plant labels. We’ve used popsicle sticks and this year she picked plastic silverware and a sharpie marker. We also let her plant her own garden. It’s 4 feet by 4 feet and she can plant whatever vegetables or flowers however she wants.

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3 Tejas Prairie Hen June 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm

And little ones love to cook and eat what they grow! You have so much fun to look forward to in the coming years.!

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4 Brooke June 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

This is a great post. One of my fondest memories as a child is gardening with my mom 🙂

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5 LISA June 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I have been a fan of your blog/website for years! You inspire me in so many ways, and I love reading of your adventures, which are very much in line with my own interests and hobbies! I was born and raised on a dairy farm, and when I turned 5, my parents allowed me to make my sandbox into a flower garden. My dad amended the soil with composted manure, and then I was able to order the seeds from the many seed catalogs we received (I had a budget of course), and I was allowed to grow my flower garden however I wanted! It was great fun, and later I became quite an avid gardener of veggies AND flowers, and 30+ years later, I am still an avid gardener! I believe getting Farmer Boy interested in the garden will foster a life-long love of gardening, and create everlasting memories! May you continue to be blessed and continue blessing us all with your wonderful site!

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6 Patti June 23, 2014 at 8:01 am

Always include the kiddos to spur their interest and possible expand their palate!

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7 Sandra June 23, 2014 at 10:13 am

Such a good idea to interest them while they are young. All life is amazing to them and fun to see it through their eyes! Thanks for sharing on the Four Seasons Bloghop! Ya”ll come back now! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You!

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8 Rach @ EazyPeazyMealz June 25, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Great ideas! I am going to implement immediately. Thanks for sharing on Tips and Tricks link party. Pinned.

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9 CJ Huang June 29, 2014 at 6:18 am

Sounds like you and your little one have fun in the garden. 🙂

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10 Suzanne @KawarthaMums July 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Great post! I really loved the images you used to illustrate your points, and the concrete examples!

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11 Penny December 27, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Last year my little one was 2 and he pretty much was in charge of the garden. Sure, Papa was in charge of the tiller, but beyond that, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, he was in charge (we helped, but he led the way). We really had no idea what would grow where, but we had way too much fun and not too bad of a harvest. Our back yard is a smorgasborg for the little ones, berries and fruit trees galore keep them happy from the early spring strawberries to the late fall blackberries and apples. We are lucky enough that we grow enough food to let them enjoy themselves (we seldom come in for lunch). In my opinion, this is the best way to learn and I’m glad there are others out there who share the blessings.

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12 Darlene Knotts December 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

I am volunteering with a preschool, teaching them about gardening and eating different vegetables. We have a pumpkin hill and the children plant the seeds in pots, then transplant the seedlings to the hill and then harvest the produce and take it home for their families.

One of my favorite activites are the Mystery Box where we clean out our refrigerators and put the fruits and vegetables in the box. The children pick something out of the box and name it. After that is done sometimes we cut up the fruit and let the kids taste it. We sometimes have what I call the fruit and vegetable race. The fruits and veggies are placed in a row and we line up about 20 feet away and I go down the line telling the kids to go get a ; persimmon, apple, squash, sweet potatoe etc. The kids love it. After we have done the several times most of the kids know what a pomegranate, acorn squash, kiwi and a lot more fruits and vegetables are.

We also feed the kids samples of the different fruits and veggies. Spagetti squash with Marinara sauce, Veggie soup, Kiwi Ice cream, Persimmon Cookies, Pumpkin bread, veggie tray with Asparagus, Peppers, Brocolli, Zucinni, along with carrots, celery, tomatoes, anything we are growing and of coarse Ranch Dressing.

I am looking forward to other ideas I can get from this web site.

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13 [email protected] May 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm

I just loved reading this. It reminded me of my own daughter sitting in the garden. She took one bite from the green bean, let the dog take a bite, then ate the rest herself. Great memories!

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