Photo Gallery | Growing Your Child’s Self Concept Along With The Garden
There are many reasons to involve your children in gardening. Examples include:
Outdoor activity: In this day and age it's tough to get your kids outdoors and in the fresh air. When they get involved in helping you in the garden they are naturally in the healthy setting of the great outdoors, and can begin to appreciate the beauty of creation.
Learning about nature: Children learn best through experience, and there are few things more fascinating than the simple act of planting seeds in the garden only to see them sprout a few days or weeks later. Some types of vegetables that are particularly good for this are quick sprouting ones like radishes, or for cooler days snow peas can be a good choice.
Planting transplants: Another way to gratify small hands quickly is to simply buy plants. When choosing plants, try something that will not only grow quickly, but will be harvested quickly as well. It helps when the plant that is grown is something the kids will like to eat. Some real favorites are Sugar Snap peas and Sweet 100 tomatoes. Often these will never make it into the house, as they are simply picked and eaten.
Kids Garden Tools: Giving the kids a set of their own garden tools can get them involved. You can find small shovels, trowels, and watering cans for them to help get the garden started. There are also small wheelbarrows for hauling leaves and small loads of dirt.
Pesticides: If you do a vegetable garden with the kids, avoid chemical pesticides, since kids will be tempted to pick and eat, and don't care to read the label. Even some organic controls should be used with care when kids are around the garden.
Sometimes they can enjoy helping you outside in some activity like mowing the lawn or raking the leaves in the yard. You can still find the traditional bubble mowers we remember from our childhood, and in addition there are newer types of toy mowers that make all sorts of different noises and effects for your children to enjoy. There are also toy rakes that can actually rake leaves, or one of the small rakes used to rake around bushes can be a good substitute for little hands
Source: kidsgardening.org ...Special thanks to Larry Wells of Image Master Photography for images used in this report