One of the best parts about herb gardening is getting kids in on the action. They love to help around the house with tasks as it is, so the chance to go out and dig in the dirt to help you will be right up their ally. It is important to let them get involved, as there is a lot they can learn from herb gardening. Proper plant care, plants types, and other science lessons are just waiting to be discovered when your children work the garden with you. An herb garden is perfect for getting them stared, as they are typically smaller and easier for small bodies and hands to manage without being overwhelmed. And because herbs are so hardy, there is really nothing they can do to damage them.
Take a look below at ways to get kids in on herb gardening. It is easy to find ways for them to help and find some opportunities to teach them as well. They will love getting in the dirt for once and it being ok!
10 Ways to Get Kids Active In Herb Gardening:
1. Let them help plan.
Before you begin, let them help plan out the herb garden. Give them paper and crayons and draw what they hope for it to look like. Talk about what plants are a possibility and let them decide a vision for the garden.
2. Give them a voice in plant choice.
Take them to the gardening center or store when you pick your seeds or plants. Allow them to see all of the seeds and plants, look at the pictures, read the care tags, and ask any questions they might have. Then, let them help you pick.
3. Tiny hands are great for planting!
Let them use their fingers and make the holes for the seeds. They will love doing this important job! They can even drop in the seeds if you wish.
4. Time to water.
Give them a small watering can of their own. Model how they should water plants at the base, not pour on top. You will need to show them how to do this. Put their name on their watering can to really make them feel as though they have a role.
5. Invest in tiny tools.
A small rake, shovel, or gloves can make them feel important. Invest in a few small dollar store gardening supplies for them to use. Supervise use of course. Show them how to properly use these supplies.
6. Give them journals for monitoring.
Give your child a notebook and colored pencils so they can take notes and sketch what they see happening in the herb garden. They will love documenting what is going on and being given the chance to present it to you.
7. Research recipes together.
You are going to have all of these herbs, now what do you do with then? Go to the library or get on the internet and research recipes together. Look for dips, marinades, salads, and more that you can use your herbs in. They can even put some of the recipes they want to try in their journal.
8. Harvest together.
Give your child some gardening gloves and a basket and get ready to harvest. Show them how herbs need to be pocked from the bottom of the plant, and how to gather them safely in their basket. Again, model this so they know what you expect and so plants are not damaged.
9. Start cooking!
Let your child help out in the kitchen as you use your fresh herbs. Talk about them and discuss the varieties. Let them smell the herbs, help tear or cut them, and let them add them to the recipes. They will love seeing the yard to table transformation.
10. Plan for more.
Once your child gets a hold of plant care basics, they might want to branch out to other varieties. Start planning another container garden for them to care for that includes some different varieties you have not tried yet.
Getting kids active in herb gardening is so rewarding. It keeps them busy and their brains active during the summer months where brain drain and boredom tend to set in. Instead of settling down in front of the computer or television, get your kids to settle into the dirt and start gardening. They will love the responsibility, and you will love how it is a chance for you to bond together over the beauty of nature.
So gather your supplies, gather the kids, and get active in herb gardening! You won’t regret it and neither will they!