Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gardening with Children

When our whole family is working in the yard together I am overwhelmed with a sense of peace and gratitude. However, to maintain that peace, everybody over 5 feet tall takes a rotation on toddler patrol. Below are a few other tips for gardening with children.

Give them good quality tools to work with:June2010 110Just remember that those tools will make it easier for them to do their own “landscaping”:June2010 219Take advantage of their desire to “help”:Summer2009 716

Young children may not actually be that helpful, but when they are“helping”, they are less likely to throw balls on the roof: July2010 274

Capitalize on their desire to imitate older siblings:July2010 268

Let them have their own flowers:June2010 154But remember to take a picture of anything you may want to use on your blog before your child waters: May 2010 168Be willing to sacrifice share the first fruits with your child: Summer2009 747Have a few very clear rules. For example, my son is only allowed to pick orange flowers because none of my fruit or vegetable plants produce orange flowers. Mums and Gerber Daisy blooms may not survive long, but my strawberry blossoms are safe: April 2010 369 Garden chores my 3 year old enjoys:

  • Picking red tomatoes
  • Picking up rocks from the lawn (we won’t discuss who put them there)
  • Throwing clippings in the compost pile
  • Rinsing lettuce leaves for dinner:
June2010 119

Are children allowed in your garden? Have you found ways to keep them occupied while keeping your plants safe?

This post has been linked to Bloomin’ Tuesday and Tuesday Garden Party and Works For Me Wednesday.


August Kenza said...

My 1 year old daughter loves to play in the garden. Our garden is pretty huge and for some reason she only wants to terrorize the plants on the end of the row. So instead of fighting with her about it, I gave her the plants on one end. She picks the leaves and plays with them while I work. It's easier and smarter to let them participate, even if you have to sacrifice a few plants, than it is to tell them no constantly. Kids love to be involved, and I can't blame them, I would want to be involved too! :)

Susan said...

Our kids could not be less interested. Could be because they are 13 and 10. The 13 y/o is not interested in much that we are interested in, and the 10 y/o does anything he can to be like his sister.

Looks like your kids are really enjoying it. Have fun!!

Jean said...

Cute post! My older granddaughter, she just turned 4, loves to help in the garden. So far the little one likes to kill ants and walk thru the garden!lol! Jean

Gina said...

Loved the post and pics! I love your ideas and may have to borrow a few. I have learned to set aside an area of bare dirt to let the children dig in. It hate always shouting at the children to get out of the garden. This way, I have somewhere "safe" for them to call their own. The last two years I planted an area we call the children's garden. We made bean tepees and planted sunflowers. The flowers are picked regularly and the beans don't last long on the vines. It isn't a thing of beauty but when it bugs me, I just have to remember how much time they spend enjoying it!

Where did you get your child's tools! They look great!

Alea Milham said...

The tools are by Toy Smith. Mine are several years old, but you can buy a similiar set at Amazon for less than 18 dollars for a shovel, hoe, and 2 rakes. The wheel barrow is made by Radio Flyer and I bleieve it is under 30 at amazon. The wagon does need to be assembled. My husband jokes that our son has better tools than we do. :)

Lynn said...

So great to get the kids involved, we always had a garden!

Melinda said...

You were so right about the children's tools! If they have real tools like mommy and daddy they can be taught to do real work! (And they are so cute while they do it!) Great post! :)

Jami @An Oregon Cottage said...

I have great memories of our children "helping" in the garden when they were young. I keep those in mind when I ask them now and get the inevitable, "moooom." Thanks for sharing this great post at the Garden Party!

T said...

What a helper! I am afraid I havent let the kids work in the garden as much as I had planned. I need to work them in more!

Dorothy-Life With Boys said...

I love your idea of giving your son a portable flower to carry around-I'm going to try that next summer for my youngest.
All 3 of my boys help in the garden/yard. The trick is to keep the task short and easy.
One thing I DO let my youngest do is water with a watering can. He loves it and will often do that for an hour or more, leaving me free to work.