Gardening with Kids...

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by cmcanallen, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. cmcanallen

    cmcanallen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    Does anyone have experience gardening with young children? Any ideas on where I might find some real tools that are his size? Recommendations on how to involve him in the gardening (without getting frustrated when he oh so sweetly tries to help but accidently does more damage then good)?

    My son is 2 and loves to be outside. He's also Mama's little helper but there are times that thisgets dangerous (for him, me and the dogs). I've tried to find him little tools like mine but mostly they're just the crappy plastic ones that don't do anything and he gets mad.

    Last year he was interested in helping me harvest which worked out great. This year however, I got him involved in the planting portion of gardening and now almost wish I hadn't. We planted several plastic bottles with seeds and when they germinated, I turned my back on him long enough to bring out a second tub of seedlings (moving them to the greenhouse) only to find that he had dumped approx 20 out and wanted to plant more seeds. Very frustrating. I want him involved especially since he's interested but I think there must be a better way to do it.
     
  2. bamachicks8

    bamachicks8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] yep i get this feeling some times, my dd who is 5 loves to help. recently i found a mini shovel at marvins its metal so you will have to supervise him closely. also you can hold onto the seeds and hand him one at a time and let him put them in the whole that way he still gets to do it but you dont waste 20 seeds in one hole. hope this helps good luck. p.s. somestimes i like things to be perfect i have to step back and take a breath and think hey its better to be spending time with my dd. so i let her do it so whats it's totally wrong we had fun together and that's what important.[​IMG]
     
  3. cmcanallen

    cmcanallen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    Yep, the whole step back and breath thing is hard on us perfectionist gardeners. I know I had to step back and remind myself "he's two. At least he's enjoying what he's doing and we're having fun together" several times so far this year.
     
  4. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My mom gave each of us our own garden spot - a raised bed made of scrap lumber (it seemed huge at the time but I think it was just 4'x2'). Mom painted them white and put our name on it. There were three of us and we got to "take care" our own garden all by ourself. We got to paint graffiti on the boxes with sidewalk chalk when we got bored. We got to plant whatever we wanted - mine was usually 2 or 3 rows of peas, a row of carrots and a pumpkin plant which never survived.
     
  5. daddykirbs

    daddykirbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is what I just did. I made a raised bed for two of my kids out of scrap materials. This gives them their own space and gives them a sense of pride.

    http://daddykirbsgarden.blogspot.com/2013/02/raised-beds-trash-to-treasure.html
     
  6. SweetSilver

    SweetSilver Chillin' With My Peeps

    I gave the edge of the beds to the girls--I always planted back a ways. They always had enough places to do their work, and so the occasional rule I would make to protect plants, like no marching across the beds, was usually followed. They did like new garden pathways, though. That was more tempting than digging spots, of which they had plenty.

    Both my girls love working in the garden and eating out of it. I always made sure that there were plenty of flowers that they could pick with abandon. They loved zinnias, but my older daughter (then 5) would pick them and pick them and wonder why they weren't big anymore. I tried telling her to wait a few days before picking more, but she wouldn't accept that. Well, we went to the beach for 3 days, came back and waiting for her was a swath of giant zinnia blossoms. She finally understood!

    I've never been able to find garden tools I liked that were sturdy *and* their size. I don't think it would have mattered anyway because they wanted what I was using. Regardless, Smith & Hawken might have something (expensive!) and For Small Hands, the Montessori supplier (*great* catalog and company, BTW).

    We purchased a child-sized wheelbarrow which still sees a lot of use, but at 6 and 8 they are much too big for it. I will be looking for those lightweight "granny-sized" ones that, as a practical gardener I have always poo-pooed for being much too.....erm..... useless. But now I see that they would be just right for the girls.

    I found a "camp shovel" sold at our local grocery store/garden center for $12--cheap enough to buy one for each child and even an extra for the occasional friend. It is really sturdy, has a nice handle and a smallish blade. It digs very nicely, probably because it isn't made for kids! I also let my girls use my old bypass pruners (with *both* hands).
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  7. cmcanallen

    cmcanallen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    Thanks everyone for the advice. I staked out an area that was going to be a rose bed and set it up for my son. He's so excited now. He even planted his own "greenhouse" shoebox of seedlings and has to carry them outside every morning before he goes to daycare. Now I can't get him out of the garden, it's great.

    [​IMG]

    I found some inexpensive metal tools, hand tools and gloves that are his size at Lowes. Had to make him his own rack in the shed for his tools just so he wouldn't try to take them to bed. Now we're just waiting until the first weekend in April to plant.

    [​IMG]
     

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