Kids and gardening go together like PB&J—it’s fun, tickles the senses, and is just a bit messy, too. Getting kids into the garden can often start with a visit to a garden center where the fantastic colors, shapes, bugs, and cool tools (and energetic staff) get kids all kinds of buzzed. Let’s help grow the next generation of gardeners with an event that’s just their size by hosting a weekend family story time at a garden center. Here are just two ideas to create a day that kids are sure to dig.
Let's Read a Book!
Is there a kid who doesn’t love hearing a good story?
A perfect anchor to story time might be We are the Gardeners, a new book about the thrills of gardening by television personality (and dedicated gardener) Joanna Gaines that was written with the help of her children. “We wrote this children’s book together to tell the story of our journey in the garden,” says Joanna, “a story of trying and failing and trying again and never giving up. We hope it inspires you and your little ones to get outside, get your hands dirty, and grow something great!”
After story time, get together a little potting-up party of easy to handle seeds (radishes, sunflowers, other large seeds) and encourage them to post their progress on (your) Instagram, tagging the garden center.
Worm, Bugs, Bees...Kids LOVE Them.
Create an art project that’s kid sized.
Start with a short story about pollinators and beneficials (bees, butterflies, lady bugs, worms, hummingbirds) and then ask them to draw their favorite. We really love Flowers Are Calling. Afterwards, send them home with a small container of beneficials (who doesn’t love releasing lady bugs!).
Actively participating in increasing beneficials will keep alive for them the connection to nature, and reinforce that kids can and should play a role in helping to maintain a sustainable environment.
It's So Worth It.
Gardening with kids can be chaotic, but so worth it as it teaches important lessons about patience, team building, self-reliance, responsibility, respect for nature, and reaping the rewards of a job well done. Studies have shown that gardening encourages children to ask more question about science, math, and nature. Yes, parents will likely be doing some weeding and watering when they’re not looking, but by setting them up for success, you can grow a new gardener.