So, I’m here to tell you that there is no such thing as “too young” when it comes to gardening. In fact, gardening is the perfect activity to teach your children about respecting the environment, the entire food cycle (from sprout to table), using your hands, reaping what you sow, not to mention being kind and gentle to all living things.
I’m starting mine off as young as 11 months and here’s how I get each of them involved:
Little is at just the right age for exploring tastes and textures, so that’s just what he did. He poked around in the dirt for a bit helping me to aerate the soil, then of course he handled some of the earth and let it fall from his fingertips.
Now, on to the planting, Little really enjoyed all of the different types of vegetation we were working with and was eager to get a taste of what our garden will have to offer this year.
Toddlers get a big kick out of digging right in and getting their hands dirty so let them dig around for awhile before you try to plant anything nearby. Teaching your toddlers how to handle live plants and seedlings, really gives them a sense of what it means to have a gentle touch.
Sweet had a really tough time with the seedlings crumbling on her before she could plant them. This was an excellent time to teach her about soft touches and by the end, she was really starting to get the hang of it. I think Little will benefit the most from this gentleness lesson, just look how careful she’s being :)
Happy has a real green thumb and loves to share his knowledge with just about any one who will listen.
It’s so rewarding to witness the sense of pride and accomplishment he feels whenever he sees something he’s planted thriving or doing well. We were all called outside today to see an elephant ear finally starting to sprout in a backyard planter, grinning from ear to ear he pointed out his handiwork – undeniably impressed.
Just look at that watchful eye, each morning Happy does a similar check on a certain blueberry bush we recently transplanted that just hasn’t been feeling so well ever since. For his sake, I’m really hoping all his love and attention pays off and the bush makes a full recovery.
We’ll be updating you on our garden’s progress as things begin to take shape and produce (crossing our fingers). This is just as much their garden as it is mine, so I’m really hoping we have a bountiful harvest.