Pass down the knowledge of nurturing plants for beauty and food by creating a garden for kids.
It is important to pass on information from generation to generation and gardening information can help kids learn many things. Not only does it allow children to have the knowledge of producing their own food, but it teaches them patience, order, food safety and gives them practice at nurturing and a wonder in the miracles of the earth. Kids that grow their own vegetables are more likely to eat them and expand their diet. Those that learn to grow flowers learn to understand beauty. Gardens for kids helps is great fun for everyone and helps the family budget where food is concerned, and beautifies the home.
Kid friendly gardens are fun to build and certain vegetables, flowers and other plants can hold the spotlight. Kids should have a hand planning, choosing what to grow, planting and harvest. What kid doesn’t like to play in the dirt anyway?
FAMILY VEGETABLE GARDEN
Choose five to six vegetables that the kids actually like to eat to plant in the garden. If you have a finicky eater, choose the vegetables that you would like them to eat. Peas and carrots are sweet and most kids like them. Cherry tomatoes are popular with children as are cucumbers. Grow cucumbers up a trellis or a fence or make a teepee with bamboo stakes. Pole beans are fun to grow because you can grow them up a piece of string that is staked into the ground and tied to the edge of the roof of the garage or front porch. Pumpkins take a great deal of room, but they supply you with jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pie in the fall. Potatoes are a favorite of kids, especially mashed, and they are fun to grow because you get a large harvest from one little mound.
Make this garden in the shape of a circle, or a pizza and plant in wedge shapes. Plant everything that goes into a pizza. In one wedge plant tomatoes to make the sauce. Plant another with basil and oregano to spice up the sauce. Every good pizza has peppers, onions and garlic in it and those are easily planted in other wedges. Those that enjoy a veggie pizza might like to plant broccoli and cauliflower in another wedge. Plant a wedge for every topping.
Little children enjoy sensory gardens. They are gardens that involve the five senses of sight, touch, smell, taste and sound. Plant big, beautiful flowers that have bright colors for sights. This could include bright colored portulaca or moss rose and the two types of celosa. One looks like feathers and the other is called cock’s comb and look like neon colored brains. The sense of touch is satisfied by feather and soft plants like lambs ears. This is a green plant that has silvery hairs on the leaves that feel oh so soft. The sense of smell is easy to satisfy. Scented geraniums come in many flavors like citrus, rose, mints, and even chocolate smelling green leaves. Also plant fragrant flowers including roses, but try to get the ones without thorns. Plant strong flavored plants for the sense of taste like basil, lavender, thyme and mint. Cover the sense of sound by placing wind chimes all over the garden.
NURSERY RHYME AND FAIRY TALE GARDEN
Plant things in this garden that pertain to fairy tales and nursery rhymes. You can even find some characters like Mother Goose or the Old Woman in the Shoe to place in the garden along with the plants. Feature Jack and the Beanstalk by placing bamboo stakes in a three sided teepee leaving a wide opening in one side. Plant pole beans along the stakes and mulch in between them. Once the beans grow, the kids can sit inside the teepee and be protected by the beans. Grow a pumpkin patch for Cinderella’s coach. Plant bell flowers, or campanella, for Mary, Mary Quite Contrary’s, silver bells. Peter Piper can pick a peck of peppers in your nursery rhyme garden. Plant Thumbelina zinnias and Tom Thumb tomatoes.
Fairy gardens are very popular with adults and kids and can be planted in the ground or in a container. They are a small landscape that fairies can live in, if they choose. Use moss for grass in a fairy garden. Moss comes in several different colors including light green, dark green and silver and you should use a variety to create texture. Pebbles make great paths leading through the garden. A pond is created by sinking a small bowl in the earth and surrounding it with small flat stones. Include a little wood, resin or pottery house, some little chairs and a table and other things that fairies might like. Plant short ornamental grasses and flowers in the fairy garden. Some evergreens are small and do well to imitate trees in the garden. Use miniature pansies, sweet William, violets, marigolds and phlox. Grow a bed of low growing thyme for the fairies to sleep in.
Gardens for kids get children outside for awhile and into the sun instead of sitting inside playing video games. It teaches them how to grow things they can eat and things that are beautiful. It is knowledge that they will pass down to their children and is great fun for the entire family.
This post is adapted from the May 24, 2014 episode of Home Wizards that was released on iTunes May 27, 2014. You can find this segment during hour one of the podcast.