I'm always doing fun gardening projects with my grandkids. Some are the same things I did with their mom when she was small. I'm a firm believer in the health benefits of gardening. Getting kids gardening early has numerous benefits for their mind, body and spirit. Kids who garden are more likely to eat their veggies. These five fun gardening projects help kids connect with and respect the earth.
Composting is a fun gardening project for kids.
You might not think composting is all that much fun, but your kids will. Kids love to dig in the dirt. They're fascinated by all things disgusting and cool. Composting allows them to play with worms, garbage, dirt and more. What's more, it teaches them the life cycle of plants. Build and maintain a compost pile with your kids. They'll have tons of fun and learn to garden without chemical fertilizers.
Plant a tree with your kids.
When I was small, my dad bought me a weeping willow tree to plant in our yard. My brothers and sisters had already planted Christmas trees and fruit trees. Dad talked to me about how trees give us fresh air to breathe. He showed me how to dig a hole for the tree and spread out the root ball for proper growth and nutrition. We staked the tree and gave it plenty of compost for fertilizer. That tree became my responsibility. It was a fun gardening project and life lesson in one.
Sprouting and planting seeds is fascinating for kids.
This fun gardening project yields fast result for impatient kids. You need seedlings for your garden and your child needs a fun activity. Why not let them start your seeds this year? Begin in early February for the best results. The look on your child's face when they see their own seeds bursting from the soil is priceless. You can also teach them how to care for seedlings to make them garden ready.
Give your kids their own vegetable garden.
If you don't have much space, let them use a corner of yours. Let them plant easy vegetables at first. Good candidates are lettuce and radishes. As their skills progress, move on to other vegetables. Let kids plant the veggies and fruits they most like to eat. Growing Halloween pumpkins is a fun gardening project for kids. The bonus? Kids who grow their own vegetables are more likely to eat them.
Free fun gardening projects for kids start in the kitchen.
Save things like potato eyes, pineapple tops, avocado pits and citrus seeds to grow plants from. Some of these are ornamental, while some will produce fruit and veggies for the garden. When I was a kid, my Mom and I experimented with growing all types of things from kitchen scraps and seeds. It was fun and educational. I'm glad my parents fostered a love of gardening in my spirit. To this day, gardening keeps me grounded and hopeful.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.