Madison Children's Museum Blog

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Gardening with Kids

If you have a bigger container, consider planting many plants to mick a bigger garden.

Struggling with how to get your children interested in your urb garden? Here’s some of our tips on how to get your children and whole family excited about gardening! Of course you can always stop by the Rooftop and soon-to-be Urb Garden exhibit to learn more about gardening with kids. Until then…

1. Grow plants that grow fast: Kids are impatient and will lose interest in the garden fast if they don’t see results almost immediately. Try planting a few radish plants which sprout within a few days to hold your kids over until the rest of the plants come in.

2. Have kids help plant: Yes, you will get dirty and they will get dirty and the whole house will probably also get dirty even if you are planting outside, but the kids will love it. Plus, it is a great learning experience for them to see how seeds can turn into sprouts which turn into plants which turn into food they will eat one night for dinner.

3. Let kids do the watering: I loved this as a child. I would spend every Saturday morning rollerblading around our house watering all of our plants. Normally I wouldn’t have given a hoot about what my mom was growing, but because I was suddenly given the important role of keeping the plants alive, I was ready to help and learn. If your kids are young, you’ll have to guide them on how to properly water plants, aka not flood the pot until the seeds drowning, but they will get the hang of it soon.

4. Paint Pots Together: When you’re tiny plants are ready to move to a bigger home, gather up some plain pots and have your kids paint them! Not only does this channel their creativity energy, but they’ll feel really proud of themselves when they see their pot each and every day.

5. Make Weeding a Race: If your garden is outdoors, you’ll have to weed. If you are anything like me, weeding just plain sucks- I think my knees are too old to bend that much, I swear I fall apart every time I try weeding and i’m only 21. But kids will love it if you turn the chore into a race of some sort. Have your kids compare their weed piles at the end of the day or time them on the task and compare it to previous weeding records.  If you have to squash bugs like potato bugs, have them count up the number of kills. A local summer camp called Camp Woodbrooke uses this method for their garden and the campers go crazy for bug sqaushin’ time. It is seriously the best part of their day.

6. Cook a meal with the plants you grew: Nothing gives more satisfaction than making a tasty meal with the stuff you grew in your backyard. Round up the family to have them help pick the needed plants/veggies and have everyone cook together. This is guaranteed to get kids pumped about maintaining the garden and growing more next spring.

Check out our Pinterest to find more ways to garden with your kids, learn about urban gardening and find inspiration!

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This entry was posted on June 17, 2013 by in Things to Do at Home, Urb Gardening.

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