Gardening is a great activity for children. In fact, the National Gardening Institute suggests it may soon be taught in schools, with approximately 55% of Americans supporting its inclusion in school programs.
Growing vegetables is especially beneficial in teaching your toddler about responsibility, science, and nutrition, while having fun and being active.
Here are a few ideas about how you can get your little one engaged in growing, and enjoying vegetables.
Plan – Grow – Enjoy
Get your toddler enthused about gardening with a trip to a community garden, or a u-pick farm to get them excited about starting their own garden.
Make an adventure out of going to the garden shop for supplies and seedlings. Choose vegetables that are low-maintenance and fast-growing such as beets, corn, lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, tomatoes and potatoes.
If you already have a garden, section off a small area just for them, or do a container garden. Teach your child how to dig, plant, water, weed, and prune their vegetable patch.
After your child harvests their crop, let them clean the vegetables and help you prepare a special meal to celebrate their hard work. You won’t have to nag them about finishing their vegetables!
Create A Worm Composting Bin
Worm composting turns food waste into garden fertilizer rich in nutrients. It’s also a great way to teach kids about recycling and science. They’ll love seeing those creepy crawlers in action too.
Follow these steps to create a self-contained, worm composting bin to delight your toddler and help their garden grow.
Cultivate Their Passion
Feed your child’s interest in their garden even when they’re not working on it. Encourage them to draw pictures of their garden, or make pinwheels, mobiles and signs to decorate it. Help them make simple gift baskets or decorated bags of vegetables that they can give to family and friends.
Your little farmer will love one of these adorable little veggie plush toys made from scraps of organic cotton to share their gardening adventures with.
Helping Your Child Grow
80% of people who garden are satisfied in life, according to a recent study. Growing their own vegetables will not only give your child a lifelong appreciation of nature, accountability and healthy eating, it will help them to be more content adults.
Learn more about the importance of organic farming practices with your toddler here.