If you love to garden, chances are you might want to pass that love on to your kids. There are few things more gratifying than planting, tending and harvesting a garden with your children, and then enjoying the fruits of your labor around the family table.
But how, exactly, do you get kids interested in being outside, playing in the earth beside you? By making it fun! Here are few easy and affordable ways to turn your garden into a toddler garden:
Sweet pea teepee – The perfect place for a tiny child to hide and play. Use bamboo and sturdy twine to build a teepee shape, planting peas at the base. Allow scarlet runner beans to climb with them to attract hummingbirds to your hideout.
Sandbox and rock pile – Speaks for itself, don’t you think?
Plant flowers along with your vegetables – Some, like marigolds, deter pests, and many attract butterflies and pollinators, which could help prevent a fear of bees! It always nice to have pretty flowers to pick for mama, too!
Turn your rain barrels into fishbowls – For mere pocket change, you can buy a few goldfish for your rain barrels and they will teach your child about natural pest control by eating all of your mosquitoes! (It goes without saying, but make sure children are always supervised around standing water.)
Grow a cucumber in a bottle! – When your cukes begin to bud, attach a bottle to one with twine so the cucumber will grow inside. What fun for a little one!
Invite some friends - Plant tall sunflowers and allow them to dry in the sun so the birds will visit and take care of some of your garden pests. Build a few simple bluebird boxes so your child can watch for the babies later in the season. Cosmos or geraniums will attract ladybugs who will, in turn, feed on your unwelcome aphids. And don’t forget a toad house! What a surprise it is when a toad moves in!
Bring some action to the garden area – Instead of hiding the garden in the corner or back of your yard, make it the center of your outdoor activity. Camp out by the garden when the weather is nice, or take your little ones out for a picnic. Make sure to have some shade and a comfortable place to sit so you’ll be more likely to spend more time there. Plant some night-blooming flowers or those with silver foliage, and visit them at night while the fireflies are out.
How do you make gardening fun for your kids?