Gardening with Children
Archives, Gardening with Children, Giveaway, Nature, Outdoor Play

Gardening with Children

Working in a garden helps connect children with nature and the cycle of the year, teaches children where our food comes from, and awakens wonder and awe at watching a plant grow from seed to flower or fruit.

Children as young as three-years old can begin helping in the garden.  They can help rake and hoe, and with a parent’s help, plant seeds in a small patch, tend the plants and watch them grow.

In Waldorf education, gardening is usually practiced with children and their teachers in kindergarten through second grade. Teachers know that gardening with children provides early science lessons, but more importantly, working in a garden cultivates a connection to nature, which will lead today’s children to become caretakers of the earth later in life.

Later, gardening is an important element of the third grade curriculum in a Waldorf school when children study housebuilding, farming and gardening.

A backyard garden provides a magical place in which children can play and explore.

The marvelous books Sunflower Houses and Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy are filled with inspiring ideas for gardening with children including planting a “sunflower house” or “beanpole teepee” – gardening projects in which children can hideaway during enchanted summer days! Sharon’s books will help you and your child plan and grow a garden even if you are a complete notice.

URBAN GARDENING

And gardening is not limited to families who live in the country or in the suburbs. If you live in the city and don’t have a backyard, here are some urban gardening ideas for parens and children:

  • Plant flowers around the base of trees on your sidewalk
  • Plant window boxes
  • Plant and tend a planter outside your front door on a porch or stoop
  • Grow an herb garden in your kitchen (Harvest mint for tea and herbs for soup.)
  • Plant in raised beds on a roof

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Children are naturally drawn to growing things from seeds. I still remember as a child planting carrot seeds in a little patch of dry dirt outside our apartment building in urban Los Angeles, and the wonder and awe of seeing the green sprouts from the seeds I planted and watered! How could I have guessed then that I would grow up to live on a farm in Maine and have large vegetable and flower gardens?

Bella Luna Toys is pleased to offer high quality gardening tools for children, kids work gloves, and a number of books on gardening with children to help children get started.

GARDENING GIVEAWAY

NOTE: This giveaway is now closed.

To celebrate spring to encourage families to plant a garden this year, Bella Luna Toys is pleased to have partnered with our friends at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, producers of high quality, non-GMO and organic seeds here in Maine, for a fantastic Kids Gardening Giveaway!

Win a shiny red bucket filled with kids gardening tools from Bella Luna Toys, six packets of easy-to-grow fruit, vegetable and flower seeds from Johnny’s Seeds and books to help you get started.

Kids Gardening Giveaway!

Win This Bucket of Goodies to Grow a Garden!

Entries must be received by midnight EDT, Monday, May 14, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random and announced on Tuesday, May 15. Good luck!

Congratulations to Glenda B. from Somerset, Kentucky who was our lucky winner! Thank you to all who entered.

Well may your gardens grow!

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Do you have a garden? Are you inspired to start one this year? Have an idea to share on gardening with children? Leave your comments here!

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93 Comments

  • Reply Heather Weinstock April 30, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Yes, my daughter has her own herb garden where she’s growing basil, chives, and parsley.

    • Reply Celeste Rosas May 7, 2018 at 12:40 am

      We’ve just started our garden and my two kids ages 2 and 5 love going outside every day to water our veggies!

  • Reply Jessica April 30, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Yes, we have a very large garden with many plants and will be planting massive sunflowers and beanpole teepee sounds like it should be a plan too!

  • Reply Mariah April 30, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    We are in the process of moving and not sure what kind of garden space we are going to have. But we are looking forward to have a flowers and veggies garden weather is big or tiny. My hope is to have a moon garden and a bee garden as well.

  • Reply cammie kent May 1, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I am just starting a flower garden with granddaughter, she is so excited

  • Reply Lisa May 1, 2018 at 11:33 am

    We have bee hives and just bought some local wild flowers and greenery to plant in our small wooded lot. And hoping for more butterflies!

    • Reply Sarah Baldwin May 1, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      Wonderful, Lisa! Sharon Lovejoy’s gardening books for children have ideas for planting butterfly gardens.

  • Reply Bethany Thompson May 1, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I have tried several times to grow a vegetable garden in Arizona, the hot dry sun always beat me out, but I have learned to watch for zones in my own yard. I remember when I was a child planting carrots and spring onions with my parents. The carrots were crisp and sweet and tiny. The spring onions were delicious and not as spicy as the ones the grocery store offered, they never stopped growing. Later my Mother and I helped a neighbor lady plant and tend her “square foot garden” and received some of the produce in exchange. Those were the best little tomatoes and squashes we ever ate. I keep trying and hoping someday it will all pay off and I will be able to provide the same connection for my own child.

    • Reply Sarah Baldwin May 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      So interested to read this, Bethany. My mother, who is a lifelong New Englander and an avid gardener, just moved from Maine to Tucson. She is very worried about how she will be able to garden in Tucson, having no understanding of the zone and what will grow in the climate. I will share your comments with her and let her know it can be done! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Dennis May 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I can’t remember a time when my family didn’t have a garden. Having a garden is something we look forward to each year and now that I have a 3 year old grandson to help me dig in the soil it is even more fun for the family. Now if I could just get my grandson to dig where I want him to dig, it might work even better, lol…..

  • Reply Deborah Shutt May 1, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Planning a garden is a yearly tradition that helps us to grow more connected as a family!

  • Reply Lisa Sullivan May 1, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    I currently do not have a garden, I am however growing Tomatoes. My grandson is being brought up gardening. It would be perfect for him to help dad in the garden.

  • Reply Lisa Sullivan May 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    I currently do not have a garden, but I’m growing a few tomatoes, this would be great for my grandson to help dad in his garden

  • Reply Shawna M Petty May 1, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    We are in the process of planting our first vegetable garden. We are leaving a small piece of our back yard to put 4 raised beds with our 7 year old boy. Praying we have a good turn out:)

  • Reply Molly May 1, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    We have beautiful land for planting a large garden, but are waiting for the earth to heal after the previous land owners’ use of chemicals everywhere. Until then, we have an 8’x8′ raised bed. My 3 year old is not attracted to eating vegetables with the exception of those we grow ourselves, which is an added bonus in our family for gardening. With such a small garden, weeding is a joyful chore in which we get to talk about weeds and are often able to eat the weeds we pull; Lots of sorrel and purslane We also keep bees, and love to feed them in this way too. I am excited to learn more about the bean pole teepee! Thanks so much Sarah!

  • Reply Jessica May 1, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    We just started preparing the garden area of our yard for seeds.

    • Reply Waverly May 13, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Interesting tip- go to a local coffee shop and ask for grounds, they are usually more than happy, and you can use them to fertilize your garden-also a great sensory activity for kids.

  • Reply Donna Warnberg May 2, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Yes we have a garden every year my grandchildren love to help pick the strawberries and water all the plants

  • Reply KELLY LOWE May 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

    We have a few raised beds and my toddler always helps water and he loves to pick fresh peas and spinach and eat it out of the garden. We also have chickens which he absolutely adores to pet them as well as feed them and get the eggs.

  • Reply Lisa May 2, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I have a very small garden patch in my yard every year. Between the heavy rains constantly and animals that eat the plants, it’s hard to grow anything. I hope this years garden will turn out better than the last few years.

  • Reply Ann Hoag May 2, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    My grandchilden and I swap plants we grow and we both have gardens at each house. I save some seeds from my granddaughter’s plants last year and have started them indoors. I will put them in my garden and give my grandchildren some for theirs.

  • Reply Kathleen May 3, 2018 at 1:19 am

    We have a few containers on our patio with mint, sage, strawberries, and a small kumquat tree. We used to have cherry tomatoes that now need to be replaced. My toddler loves seeing how the plants change over time and helping us pick some of the things we grow. We’re hoping to add more in the next year.

  • Reply Valeri Caskey May 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    My daughter is 18 months and we have started some containers. So far she is not a very good gardener because she’s too impatient to wait to harvest and she likes to dig things up:)

  • Reply Sandra Roller May 3, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    We have a small community garden. I have encouraged my children to be in it by leaving an area for them to dig in and experience the joy of being in the dirt. We also let each child have a “pet” plant they choose and help care for.

  • Reply Sarah Hollifield May 4, 2018 at 2:48 am

    We used to always have a garden but due to health issues it’s been a while. But yes this inspires me

  • Reply Talia May 4, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    We have a mini indoor herb garden and we also have raised beds outside.

  • Reply Angela Marchant May 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Some of my favorite memories as a young child is tending to the small plot of garden that my mom set aside for me.

  • Reply Casandra Dwigans May 5, 2018 at 2:51 am

    I would love to start a garden soon with my little one, it would be another great reason to spend more time outdoors.

  • Reply Jay Koes May 6, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    What a lovely theme for a giveaway! Thank you for a chance to win. We decided to rent a house rather than an apartment when I got pregnant because I knew how valuable backyard play is in early childhood. My Pau is now 15 months old and loves “helping” with planting seeds and wants to check on them every morning after breakfast. Also, How Does My Garden Grow, a book by Gerda Muller is a big hit in the household.

  • Reply Jennifer Pallotta May 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    We have a nature based pre-k/child care in Maine. Our children at our pre-k love gardening each year. This year we added on to our garden. We also do farm to table.

  • Reply AnnLaura May 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    We have a very small garden, but we are sure to include as many pollinator friendly flowers as possible, and the boys always get to choose some themselves.

  • Reply Gena Loyd May 9, 2018 at 7:22 am

    We have some seeds started and some new grow lights in our kitchen. Safest time to plant here in SW PA is after Mother’s Day! My children are excited for the nasturtiums to come up….to feed their tortoises! Happy gardening!

  • Reply Jessica Alexander May 9, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    I have plans to grow one with my children this year! I started a few seeds last year and only my bell pepper survived. It’s got a handful of peppers hanging from it now. I’ve never grown anything before, so it’s exciting for me, haha!

  • Reply Cara May 9, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Our kids love helping in the garden, though I’m still waiting for them to get excited about eating the vegetables they grow :-)

  • Reply Sarah May 12, 2018 at 9:46 am

    We just started our tomatoes last week! So exciting!

  • Reply Karen May 13, 2018 at 12:32 am

    We love our garden! Just harvested rhubarb stalks this morning and we are thinning our carrot seedlings. Garden time makes everyone happy :)

  • Reply Lisa Henderson May 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

    I co-own and run an outdoor farm and forest kindergarten (ages 3-6), on a farm in Millis, MA. We have 14 kids in the program and a big part of our place-based learning philosophy is helping out around the farm – feeding the chickens and goats, collecting eggs, helping the farmers with moving corn into the CSA barn or laying straw on top of the strawberries at the end of the season, etc. We also have our own garden in our yurt yard where we plant and tend some of the herbs and foods we use and eat in our program – mint, lemon balm, peas, beans, etc.

    • Reply Sarah Baldwin May 13, 2018 at 8:27 am

      That’s wonderful, Lisa! How lucky the children in your program are!

  • Reply Leslie May 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    We don’t have a garden currently it’s something I’ve always wanted to start with my kids. My 5 year old is excited to plant the wildflower seeds we got from Bella luna! We have to clear weeds first but starting a garden will be our summer project. My son is starting waldorf this year – we just cut out all media and I’m finding we spend more quality time together. Life is so much richer. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom, Sara!

  • Reply Amanda May 13, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    We are starting our first vegetable harden this year and my boys (6,4,2,) are so excited! They’re enjoying every step of the process, especially the part where they get covered in dirt. :)

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