Sunny days, big smiles, and messy hands… If that’s what springtime means to your child, then it’s time to get outside and get growing! April is national Kids Garden Month, an initiative spearheaded by the youth-focused nonprofit KidsGardening to inspire and encourage kids to get into gardening.
Gardening benefits children in countless ways. From hands-on learning about science and biology to physical fitness and creative play with colors and textures, home gardening helps children steward our natural world while learning – plus it’s a “screen-free” activity!
If you’re stumped on how to get started, never fear! We’ve got three tips for getting your kids excited and inspired to garden!
Tip One: Touch, Taste, and Smell Gardens
If your goal is to help kids discover a life-long love of fruits and veggies, encourage them to try a variety of flavors to help them develop healthy eating habits. Start off easy with a container garden to show them where food comes from. Plant compact blueberry, thornless raspberry and thornless blackberry bushes from Bushel and Berry right outside your door. Berries are especially kid-friendly given their small size and sweet flavors. Plus, caring for berry bushes and plants encourages outdoor activity and helps to reduce stress.
Next, pick aromatic plants that smell as good as they look! Kids are drawn to plants that engage the senses, and fragrant Chef’s Choice® Culinary Rosemary does double-duty as a plant that smells great and tastes amazing too! Harvesting fruits and herbs provides hands-on engagement that helps kids connect with – and have fun – gardening.
Tip Two: Cool Tools
If there’s a budding builder in your family, take their LEGO skills outside with cool tools that make gardening easier… and more fun! New C-BITEs feature colorful clips that snap together with poles and stakes, like tinker toys for the garden. Offered in cheerful bright colors and connecting with a simple snap, kids and adults can build towering structures in any shape imaginable. C-BITEs can prop up tomatoes, support spindly vines, protect precious plants, and more!
Today, there are more options than ever for kid-sized gardening tools. We love these peach picks or this sweetly smiling watering can.
Tip Three: Make it Mini
There’s nothing more enchanting to a child than a “me-sized” space. Public gardens from Georgia’s Atlanta Botanical Garden to Nashville’s Cheekwood Estate and Gardens offer specially designed children’s gardens filled with inspiration for little gardeners, with plants and “edu-taining” garden activities at their eye-level. Bring some mini marvels to your own garden by choosing specially bred petite plants!
Did know that many of your favorite plants and shrubs are grown in “dwarf” sizes whose mature size is naturally smaller than other plants of their kind?
For a bloom-packed bush that flowers across multiple seasons, try Encore® Azalea Autumn Majesty® or Autumn Starburst™, both of which mature to about 3’ high. For an edible option, the aptly-named ‘Little Miss Figgy’ Dwarf Fig from Southern Living Plant Collection is a petite fig tree that produces abundant fruit in a small space– a tasty treat for little gardeners!
Spending time with your kids in the garden creates memories that will blossom for years to come. Whether you’ve got a green thumb or are a first-timer, spring is the perfect time to get outside and teach the next generation to tend the earth.
Are you a garden industry professional? Click the image below to learn more about gardening trends for kids and parents!