Indoor gardening is a great way to spend time with your children as you all grow your green thumbs together. To help you and your little ones to get growing, we’ve put together these 6 tips for gardening with children.
1. Eat what you grow
Tending to an indoor vegetable garden can help your kids learn about good eating habits. While not every vegetable can grow inside, there are certain fruits and veggies that can survive indoors with tender love and care.
If your kids are struggling with eating their veggies at lunch, this will get them excited about trying something new. Growing veggies even makes kids more likely to try vegetables and pack them in their lunch.
Small and edible vegetables your kid can grow indoors include:
Add wheatgrass to smoothies or use microgreens in salads to show your kids how to utilize these plants.
2. Use growing bags
You can use small growing bags to sprout potatoes, raise tomatoes, and develop leafy greens. This portable way of planting can be used indoors if done correctly.
Use teamwork with your kids to find the best place with lighting and temperature control to place these bags. Then all you have to do is add soil, seeds, and water. Make sure you also use a plastic container to catch any drainage or else it could damage your floors.
3. Windowsill herbs
Start small with a compact herb garden. You can find the materials for this project at most stores!
You will need:
- Rectangle flower box or small cups
- Potting soil
- Plastic wrap
Sit down with your little ones and teach them how to sow a garden. Start by putting the soil in the container and getting it wet. You can have them shovel the soil into the pot or use a watering can to add moisture.
Read the instructions on the back of the seed packets – they will usually tell you how far deep or apart you need to plant the seeds. Make the holes in the soil and ask your kids to add the seeds and cover them up. Trap the moisture in the flower box or cup with plastic wrap and put the box on the windowsill.
Have your kids check the seedlings daily, and when they finally see them start to sprout, remove the plastic.
When the herbs are ready for harvest, show your kids how you can use them when cooking.
4. Create a terrarium
Don’t want a vegetable garden but want your kids to add to the greenery in your home? Consider creating a terrarium with them. Use small succulents and glass jars to make a miniature garden.
5. Choose fun materials
Make planting a fun arts and crafts activity by picking up a few clay pots and paints. This family activity is great for keeping the kids occupied over the course of a week, as it will consist of multiple stages including decorating, planting, and care. Your kids will have fun expressing themselves by making their own unique pot designs.
Have them paint their names on the pots so they can know which plant is theirs and can observe how each plant grows differently.
Get small garden labels and have your children name the house plants. This will encourage them to take good care of their green friends.
6. Make a chore chart
A good way to make sure you and your kids are staying on top of your indoor gardens is a chore chart. You can keep pests away and your plants healthy with proper care.
Have sections that keep track of watering times and when the pots need fresh soil. This will help remind everyone to get their work done. If you keep track of water intake, lighting needs, and soil, your indoor garden should stay happy.
Growing green thumbs
Indoor gardens are a great low-risk activity for you to do with your kids any time of the year, and teaching your kids about the importance of plants to our nutrition and to the earth will encourage their green thumbs to grow.
Without the heat of the sun or critters crawling around, children can learn to appreciate plants and what it means to be responsible. Incorporating these tips with your family-garden time will ensure everyone has a fun experience. Happy planting.
Brandon Michaels is a dad, freelance writer, and landscape designer from the mountains of California. In all his work, his goal is to get people off their couches and into nature. He loves all things natural: gardening, hiking, even feeding his local raccoons.