Gardening with kids is one of the best activities your family can do together!
When I was young, I always considered gardening just something that my granny did.
It seemed kinda antiquated and unnecessary, since grocery stores had everything you could possibly need.
But last year, when we moved to a new house that had raised beds already built, it seemed “meant to be” that we would start our own vegetable garden.
I’ve always kinda had a black thumb, and had been unsuccessful at growing most flowers and houseplants.
Taking on this task seemed monumental and difficult, and I was really concerned that I’d mess it up.
But surprisingly, we succeeded. We grew a fantastic garden and got some unexpected results.
Our kids loved gardening! Ages 8 and 10 when we started the garden, they really enjoyed helping harvest what we’ve grown.
Here are eight reasons I highly recommend growing a gardening with kids this summer.
1. Gardening with kids teaches a useful life skill!
Growing your own food is a vanishing art. My granny was an expert at it.
She would grow and can lots of different vegetables. Many of us can say the same about our grandparents.
They knew exactly when to plant, exactly how much to water, exactly when to harvest, seemingly by magic.
Reviving those skills by gardening with kids can foster a lifetime love of growing things.
Being able to grow your own food is a skill that can serve anyone well at any time in their lives.
2. Fresh, Healthy Food
Everyone is concerned about pesticides and genetically modified produce these days.
By growing your own food, you can control exactly how your produce is grown. You can limit your children’s exposure to chemicals, and make sure you know exactly what’s going into their bodies.
Plus, there’s nothing better than fresh picked produce.
Dinner prepared with vegetables picked just hours before you’re serving them is always more flavorful and delicious.
My daughter loves to pick a pea pod right off the vine while she’s playing outside, and have a fresh healthy snack of raw peas any time she wants.
My son adores eating strawberries straight off the plant.
These are things they never would have done if we hadn’t started gardening with kids.
3. Expand Kids’ Flavor Palettes
My kids were occasional vegetable eaters before we planted our garden last year. But now, they eagerly try any new veggie they’ve grown themselves.
Having a hand in the growing process makes them interested in trying new things.
They now enjoy a wide variety of good-for-you foods, prepared in a variety of ways.
Gardening with kids has taught them to open up their minds and be ready to eat something new and delicious.
This Three Ingredient Stir Fry Sauce recipe is a quick and easy way to bring some of those new veggies together for a delicious meal!
4. Gardening With Kids Teaches Science Lessons
Gardening with kids is a great way to teach them about the natural world around them.
From germination to maturity, every step of gardening gives you the opportunity to teach a science lesson to your kids.
My kids really love learning about the animals and bugs that are a part of gardening, too.
Every worm they find gets them talking about the composting process.
The family of bunnies that feeds off a few of our plants helps us discuss the food chain.
Science is everywhere in gardening, and with constant access to the internet on my phone, I’m always able to pull up a resource to fill in the blanks that my own knowledge can’t provide.
5. Family Bonding
As my kids get older, finding things to do together gets a bit more challenging.
Every step of gardening with kids gives us a chance to spend time together.
With a common goal, we are able to come together for quality time while we work as a team.
A trip to the store to pick out the plants makes for a fun afternoon.
Planting, watering, and harvesting gives us moments every day to spend together.
Preparing the food for cooking or storage gives us even more time.
We frequently end up having funny moments and good talks during these times. Like the time our carrots were planted a bit too close and grew in knots instead of individually.
I cherish these moments and love spending them with my kids and my husband.
6. Less Electronics, More Sunshine
In a world filled with Minecraft and Fortnite, luring my children away from digital devices without a battle is difficult.
Gardening with kids gives us a reason to get out in the sunshine.
Once I get my kids outside, they usually want to stay there. So having a reason to make them put down the tablets and put on their tennis shoes is priceless.
After watering the garden, my kids usually start a game of frisbee or tag with each other.
Frequently, they go see if their friends want to come out and play, too. It’s awesome for everyone.
7. Lessons in Responsibility
Taking care of the garden has taught my kids about long term commitment.
If they aren’t faithful to water, the plants will die. If they don’t harvest the produce, it will rot and be useless.
Gardening with kids has given them tasks they have to accomplish daily.
If they don’t manage their time well, they fail.
It’s an important lesson, and the garden helps them learn it in a unique way.
8. Sense of Accomplishment
My kids are super proud of our garden.
They love telling their friends about it.
They both always want to bring extra produce to their teachers and our neighbors.
Sharing something they grew themselves gives them immense pride.
Letting kids have projects that contribute to the family as a whole is a huge learning experience.
It helps with developmental growth and makes them feel like an important part of the team.
Gardening with kids has been invaluable to our family. It’s a process we cherish.
Do you grow gardens with your family? Tell me about your experiences in the comments!