With everything that’s happening in the world, it’s likely your children are stuck at home. But they don’t have to feel “stuck”—and neither do you. That's where gardening comes in! It’s a great way to keep everyone entertained and away from the TV, smartphone, tablet, or whatever other screens they've latched onto lately.
Gardening is interactive, engaging, always changing, and kids can see—and taste!—the results of their hard work. Why You Should Garden with Your Kids Think about why you love to garden—maybe you do it to relieve stress, to feel connected to nature, and to build exercise into your day-to-day life. Gardening gives kids all of these benefits, and more! Children can learn so much through gardening. Not only will they learn how food grows, but they'll also learn about the insects and animals in your yard and how they help or hinder the growth of plants. And they can learn all of this by watching how their garden changes day by day!
If your kids don't weed regularly, they'll see the growth of their plants slow as they compete for sunlight. If they over- or under-water, they'll see their plants get droopy and dry. Gardening can give children a sense of pride when they can see the results of their hard work day after day. Remember to use kid-safe products in your garden, like FoxFarm organic soils and Espoma fertilizers, so everyone can feel comfortable getting their hands a little dirty. If you need any supplies or plants, we offer delivery and curbside pick-up.
Kid-Friendly Gardening Activities
One of the most important ways to keep your children interested in gardening is by making it fun—after all, gardening IS fun!
- Get them started on seed starting! Opt for plants that have different textures, grow fast enough to hold their interest, mature to different heights, and are fairly easy to distinguish from others.
- If you have room, let your children have their own plot in the garden. Show them the ropes, but let those plants be entirely their own—even if that means the plot is overcrowded and overwatered. Don't worry about whether they'll make mistakes; kids thrive on lessons they can learn from.
- If you have an old wading pool, you can turn it into a child-friendly planter. Just cut some drainage holes in it, fill it with soil, and away you go. Children can also paint their own plant markers for another personal touch.
- Make their time in the yard about more than watering and weed-pulling. Give them binoculars for bird watching, add wind chimes, and create a mulch "sandbox" where children can dig around freely.
- In case of rainy days, bring the outdoors in with house plants! A favorite among kids is the Venus flytrap. A carnivorous plant is so unexpected and will spark the interest of young ones for days on end!
Easy Vegetables to Grow
Add even more excitement to your kids' time outside by planting a rainbow vegetable garden. This will introduce them to "Roy G. Biv" (an acronym to remember the colors of the rainbow) as well as a few new vegetables! Plus, you can teach them about the differences between fruits and vegetables, and why some of our favorite "vegetables" are actually fruits.
Red: There's nothing better than getting to eat your food right off the plant. Cherry tomatoes are a must for your kid-friendly garden!
Orange: Carrots are easy to identify, plus eating them straight from the ground and lightly dusted in dirt makes for some pretty memorable moments. If you have space, pumpkins are another kid favorite. Plus, the results extend beyond the garden — it's pretty special for a child to see how a tiny seed can one day become a jack-o'-lantern!
Yellow: Wax beans are easy to care for and grow quickly, so your little gardener will feel accomplished in no time.
Green: Lettuce is another quick and easy-to-grow plant for a child-friendly garden, and freshly grown lettuce from your yard makes salads a bit more appealing to young ones. You can get at least a couple of crops in each growing season. Sweet bell peppers are also fun, since some varieties start green and mature to other colors.
Blue, Indigo, Violet: Eggplants seem to cover the rest of the rainbow colors since some appear more purple while others look bluer. The color and shape of them make them interesting to your kids, plus it’s amazing to see how the plant can support the large, mature eggplants!
Though we sometimes see yard work as a chore, it doesn't have to be. Thanks to these activities, like your fun, new, kid-friendly rainbow vegetable garden in Bettendorf, your kids won’t mind spending so much time at home!