GARDENING WITH KIDS
It’s school holiday time and spring is the perfect time to get the kids hands in the garden. Not only does it get them outside into the spring sunshine (rain, rain go away), but being in nature helps boost happiness and the process of gardening can help kids relax and bring you close together by working on a shared project. Here are our top activities to enjoy gardening with kids.
Plant a fruit and veggie patch
Edible gardens are the perfect choice for kids. Involve them in every step of the process, from choosing what to plant, where to plant and who will water and take care of the garden. The entire family benefits from fresh produce and children learn about the benefits of growing your own food, how to make healthy choices and how to eat sustainably.
For September, snow peas and climbing beans are fun to plant with kids because they require support to help them grow. You can create your own pyramid and support from sticks in the garden or purchase netting to give them a structure to grow against.
You can also add your lettuce and leafy greens to the same garden bed and even carrots too, all great options for September in Melbourne. For fruit, strawberries are fun to grow with children and so rewarding when those tiny red fruits appear. Make sure they receive full sun and be careful to keep them away from birds and possums by surrounding them with netting if needed.
Add herbs to your windowsill
If you’re restricted by space in your garden, a fun activity can be to set up a mini herb garden on your windowsill. September’s the perfect time to go wild with herbs. Parsley and rosemary are great herbs to start with as they’re resilient and fast growing. Choose individual pots for each to ensure they’re not too crowded and so as not to stunt growth. There are so many to choose from so pick ones that you use and cook with regularly and that your little ones can help to care for and pick for family meals. Another bonus of an indoor herb garden is the fresh scents your kitchen will be filled with. The kids could even paint the herb pots before planting.
School holidays mean it’s time to roll out the butcher’s paper and paint. Get kids excited for gardening by having them paint terracotta pots with their favourite colours. You could even make small DIY labels for your veggie patch or herb garden so everyone knows what’s what, by writing names on card or paper or even straight onto icypole sticks. Gardening can go hand in hand with arts and crafts so think creatively and let your kids’ imaginations run wild. Enjoy!
Don’t be afraid to get dirty. That’s what gardening is all about. When re-potting plants, encourage kids to help you shake off excess soil from the roots. Little ones can help you add more soil to a fresh pot and press down the soil to help the plant settle into its new home. They can even help by giving it its first drink of water. Embrace the wonderful messy nature of the garden and enjoy the process together.
What are your favourite school holidays activities? Have you tried any gardening fun with your children? We’d love to know how you keep kids entertained and in the garden.