If your kids enjoy digging in dirt and catching bugs, they’re going to love gardening. Gardening with school age kids is a great family activity. You and your children will enjoy spending quality time together, and you’ll have lots to talk about during quiet times at the end of the day.
School Age Garden Theme Info
When you choose your school age garden theme, build on your child’s interests. If he or she likes building forts, build one of sunflower plants or construct a teepee frame of tall poles or branches for pole beans or nasturtiums to climb over.
Children love giving special gifts to friends and family. Your child will be proud to give gifts of potted plants grown from seeds or forced bulbs. The easiest bulbs to force are tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses, and the results are quick and dramatic. Read on to discover more school age gardening activities that make kids look forward to gardening time.
How to Create a Garden for School Agers
Set your children up for success by choosing a good location with plenty of sunlight, good air circulation, and fertile soil that drains well. If the soil is poor or doesn’t drain freely, build a raised bed.
Buy a set of child-sized tools for small children or light-weight adult-sized tools for larger kids. Let your child do as much of the work as he or she can. Young children may not be able to manage some tasks, such as deep digging, but they will take more pride in the garden if able to do most of the work their selves.
Creating gardens for school age children is more fun when the child is involved in the design process. Make suggestions, but let your child decide what kind of garden he or she wants. Children enjoy growing cutting gardens and making bouquets, and they might also enjoy growing their favorite vegetables. Here are some ideas to make gardening with your child fun and easy:
- 3 foot (1 m.) squares are a good size for most plants. Let your child measure out the squares and decide what to plant. Once the seeds are in place, show him or her how to install edging around the squares.
- Watering and weeding are chores that kids won’t enjoy as much as digging, planting, and picking. Keep the sessions short, and put the child in control by marking weeding and watering days on a calendar where they can be crossed off once the job is complete.
- Keeping a garden journal is a great way to enhance school age gardening activities. Let the child take snapshots or draw pictures and write about the things that excite him or her most. Journals are a fun way to plan next year’s garden.
- Flowering herbs are practical as well as pretty. Small herbs look good in a pizza-shaped garden where every “slice” is a different herb. Encourage your child to expand the palate by tasting the leaves.
Note: Applying herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers is a job for adults. Children should stay indoors when adults are using sprays. Store garden chemicals out of the reach of children so they won’t be tempted to try these tasks on their own.