6 Tips to Get Kids Gardening This Summer - This West Coast Mommy
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6 Tips to Get Kids Gardening This Summer

Is your child completely in the dark about the process of growing food? Has he or she ever planted seeds or picked their own vegetables?

If they haven’t been exposed to a backyard vegetable garden, this summer would be a great time to change that.

Gardening can teach kids about responsibility, how things grow, and how long it takes to grow something that takes such a short while to eat. It can also encourage healthy eating!

By letting your kids feel involved in the gardening process, you can foster a lifelong love of growing their own produce. Here are a six ways to help kids feel invested in a family garden.

1. Give Everyone Something to Do

Kids like to feel useful and they love getting their hands dirty. In fact, when it comes to most kids, the dirtier the job, the more they like it.

Teach your kid to love gardening by making sure that you’re actually letting them participate. Watching everyone else get to do the cool stuff isn’t nearly as fun as getting to do some of the tasks for yourself.

To make sure you aren’t accidentally sidelining your child and wondering why they’re getting bored, write out a list of tasks that you’re reserving just for your child. It may be planting seeds, turning on the sprinkler to water your plants or pulling random weeds that appear.

2. Give Them a Little Corner of the Garden For Themselves

Ask your kids what they would like to grow and then give them the space to do that. Don’t micromanage their choices.

If they wants to plant pumpkins, but they don’t grow well in your soil, you can explain. But let them try it anyway. At the same time, encourage them to also plant some vegetables that you know will do well.

They’ll learn just as much from failures as they will from successes. Plus, they’ll be bursting with pride every time they show a friend or a family member “their” garden.

Even if you don’t have much space, this tip will work. Give them two containers in which they can try to grow two types of vegetables.

3. Involve Them in the Planning

If you decide to use the whole backyard for the garden and it’s where they normally do most of their playing, the kids are going to resent the garden. But if you ask them which section of the backyard they think would work best for a garden, you’ll be letting them in on some of the big decisions and the planning process.

Kids will feel more invested in something if part of it is their idea. They’ll be driven to help it succeed.

4. Let Them Do Some Picking

One of the best parts about having a garden is getting to pick the ripe vegetables. When your vegetables are ready, send them outside with a basket and let them have the fun of reaping the harvest.

The kids will be so excited when something unexpected happens, like when they pull on a stem not knowing they’re about to free a carrot from the earth. They’ll laugh when they see what comes out out of the ground, and it will fuel their excitement about next year’s garden.

5. Find Recipes They’ll Enjoy

Encourage your child when it comes to eating their hard-earned bounty. If there’s a vegetable they’re not too jazzed about trying, you may be able to find a recipe that will make them want to give it a go, like these kid-friendly roasted sweet potato bites.

If you have a cheese lover, you’ll be able to find a casserole that you can put some broccoli or cauliflower in.

If you let them leaf through a recipe book, they’ll start to see how versatile their vegetables are.

6. Encourage Them to Share Their Bounty

Most kids are natural-born sharers. They love to make other people happy and show off the spoils of their hard work.

By letting them bring a bag of extra vegetables to a friend’s house, they’ll get to bring a smile to someone else’s face, as well as their own.

Planting a Seed That Will Last a Lifetime

By teaching your child the joys of gardening, you can spark a lifelong interest. Plus, you’ll be showing them the value of hard work and giving them an appreciation for healthy, locally-grown food. Try it!


Jenny is just another mom trying to do her best. She loves spending time outdoors and trying to convince her kids to do the same. When she’s not out in the garden, she enjoys blogging about her struggles and triumphs with breastfeeding, breast pumping tips, parenting hacks & more on Mom Loves Best and on Pinterest.

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17 Comments

  • Love !! We have a garden currently we grow.. Strawberries, green pepper, green beans, carrots, onion, potatoes and 2 kinds of tomatoes

  • I think activities like gardening with your kids are extremely important. It builds appreciation and awareness for the earth while building quality time with your children that doesn’t have to revolve around electronics.

  • Super great ideas!! Maybe my son will be a more successful gardener than I?! I seem to kill everything….pretty sure I have a brown thumb instead of green lol!!

  • My oldest granddaughters loves to help in the garden. My youngest granddaughter is two. My daughter as a day home and all the children planteds seed to grow flowers for mothers day. They also painted a pot. My daughter put the tiny plant on the kitchen table to get prepare. So the children could transfer the flowers in the flower pot. The two year old decide to pull all the flowers out…. so funny.

  • Years ago I had a garden in the back yard. I would have my nephews help with it. One would dig the hole and the other would drop in the seeds. They loved it. They would come over to water and weed it. They were so proud of the stuff they grew.

  • I love the idea of giving them their own little garden. It’s a perfect idea because it’ll give them a feeling of ownership.

  • Our toddler loves to help with the garden! She has a kids tractor that she can drive with a wagon on the back that she puts the veggies on and drives up to the house lol

  • GIving everyone something to do is important! It was easy to find tasks my four-year-old could help me with, but harder with my young toddler. She is able to hold the watering can with me when I water. She is also happy digging soil out of the garden and placing it into a pail. (I make sure there is an emptier spot where she can do this, and dump the soil back in when we’re done!)

  • I love the idea of giving them their very own corner to plane and look after, they will be so happy seeing the plants growing and then being able to harvest when ready, kids are so amazed at stuff like this, love it!!

  • Great tips! I have found that the kiddos ate every single vegetable and fruit they had a hand in planting and cultivating; it was a great way to create a love of good, wholesome food, show them where real food comes from and also enhance their cooking skills.