Stuck at home with the kids? By about now, they are probably really bored and you are probably about to start losing your mind. You need something fun and interesting for the kids to do while getting everyone out of the house. How about starting a kid’s garden!
Start by sectioning off a small portion of your yard to make a little garden just for them. Give them some guidance, of course, but let this space be their own.
If you don’t have a lot (or any) garden space you can create a container garden instead. You can find lots of cheap or free containers if you get a bit creative. Any food grade container can be used for plants – just drill a hole on the bottom for drainage.
There are some clever ideas for container gardening in this video from Roots and Refuge.
Then, let them choose what type of vegetables they want to plant, grow, and eat. Even the pickiest eaters are much more likely to eat a vegetable that they grew all on their own.
The best veggies for children to grow will obviously be the ones that they like to eat. But growing at least some vegetables that are quick to germinate and easy grow will keep kids interested and encourage them to keep gardening.
Some easy veggies for kids to try are:
Cucumbers are fast to growers, will not require much care and are easy to harvest. A great variety to try is the cucamelon, also known as Mexican sour gherkins or a mouse melon. These adorable little cucumbers are about the size of an olive and look like tiny watermelons. Kids love them!
Radishes are super quick to grow. Your kids will be harvesting them in about a month!
Cherry Tomatoes are always a favorite! Try a super sweet variety like Champagne Bubbles.
Sweet snap peas are always a great choice – kids love to eat them right off the vine.
Ground Cherries or Goldenberries are also great for kids. They come in their own little wrappers and are so sweet it’s like eating candy…but good for you!
Zucchini are also easy to grow and will not require much attention once the plant gets going.
Some other great kid friendly veggies are beans, potatoes, carrots and lettuce.
They might even want to try growing some edible flowers. Although your children are not likely to eat a bowl full of marigolds, it might just be fun to eat a few flowers or sprinkle the petals over a salad for some beautiful color. Some great edible varieties include nasturtium, borage, marigolds, or calendula. Plus flowers will bring butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to the garden.
So why not try letting your kids create their very own vegetable garden? It will be fun, they will learn a lot, and it will get everyone out in the fresh air and sunshine! And who knows, maybe they will even get to like eating their veggies.