Gardening With Toddlers: How To Grow Your Child’s Green Thumb
Spring has sprung full bloom here in north Florida, and it’s time to start planting our garden. I see bits of Spring weather sprouting in my hometown in northern Illinois as well, so hopefully this week will be the last of the cold and snow most of North America has to deal with this season. Bring on the April showers! Our two-year-old son has become an excited little gardener, so I thought I would put together our list of ideas to help your toddler grow his or her own little green thumb.
Seeds are super easy to get started indoors, so if you have a few more weeks before the ground is ready to dig, now is the perfect time to start out with an indoor kit. There are so many to choose from out there that I had a hard time narrowing down the list to just six. 1) Grow Kits for Kids: Gnome Garden, Veg Patch, Fairy Flowers, & Butterfly Garden 2) Aqua Farm & Mushroom Kit 3) Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit 4) The Giggling Garden & Dino Garden cartons 5) Growums Pizza Garden 6) Seedballz
(Herb Mix shown). If you want to save on the cost of a kit, a simple and fun way to sprout seedlings is by sprinkling your seeds on to a damp paper towel, fold in half (so seeds are moist on both sides), then place inside an open Ziploc/plastic bag and set on top of the fridge or counter. Once they sprout, you gently lift them off the towel with their roots, and plant in dirt. Voila!
The gear makes gardening all the more enjoyable, fun, productive, and helpful. My son loves to pick up his tiny trowel and get to work! 1) Melissa & Doug Gardening Tote (also available in Turtle) 2) Backyard Safari Compass Tool for older toddlers/children. Have them locate the directions that are best for sunlight in your gardening area. 3) Radio Flyer Kids Wheelbarrow — a classic that will withstand heavy use. 4) Rainboots! 5) Finally, a time where a dog watering your lawn is a GOOD thing — the Dachshund Dog Watering Can. 6) When plastic tools are not enough, advance to the Preschool Age Gardening Tools. Also, Target has a great selection out right now, including Hello Kitty and Ninja Turtles prints.
Along with physically working in our garden daily, we spend time reading books and playing with toys that encourage learning more about growing our food. We also set aside a few trucks for the yard that entertain our son and help him learn how the machines dig, push, pull, etc. Here are a few toys and books that are great for learning and exploring gardens and farms: 1) LEGO DUPLO Garden Set 2) Kid Puzzles Wooden Peg Puzzle 3) Haba Caterpillar Digger (Digs & Rolls truck tracks!) 4) Green Toys Tractor 5) Peppa Pig and the Vegetable Garden 6) Hape My Tractor toy and book 7) In the Garden
We have been encouraging our son to be active in helping us with the garden and watering “our crops” daily. After many instances (of course) of eating the broccoli off of their stalks, picking chives and green onions to chomp, and stealing limes before they can grow, we have starting learning about being gentle with the plants, whispering to them, “Grow, grow, little plant” and helping him to love learning where his food comes from. It is exciting to watch him grow his own little green thumb as he watches our garden grow. Hope this list helps your and your children with your gardens this spring. Happy Growing!