Your preschooler can definitely help in the garden. Kids love to dig the holes and feel like they are doing their part to help you care for the garden. Whether you are gardening with flowers or veggies and fruits, there are some helpful things to remember to make your preschooler’s gardening time the most fun.
- Allow your child to pick out at least one special plant or seed packet for the garden when you are purchasing your season’s flowers or veggies. This will help your child learn to take ownership when caring for their own special plant.
- Give your child age appropriate tools to work with in the garden. If you can’t find or don’t want to purchase the kid sized gardening tools, get a hold of old kitchen utensils. Avoid allowing them to use heavy or sharp tools in the garden.Plastic tools work best for little hands.
- Kids can help in the planting process by digging holes and gently patting around newly placed plants. Always demonstrate first and talk them through the step-by-step process of planting a new plant. This way they will understand what they need to do to care for their new plant.
- Water your new plants yourself first and then allow your child to add a second round of watering. This way you can make sure you get all the new plants the water they need, dampen the surrounding soil and prevent any missed spots or overly forceful watering. Your child can come right behind you watering a second time. IF you have a hose attachment for spraying, the “mist” option is a great second round water choice, but “shower” works well too. Try turning the water down just a bit to soften the water weight on the flowers.
- Ask your child to help with continued care of the garden. Allow them to help water, add mulch or otherwise tend to the success of the plants. Don’t allow them to trim or otherwise cut the plants just yet, those garden clippers are super sharp!
Bonus Tip: find a little bucket to store your preschooler’s garden tools separate from your own. This will encourage your child to feel like they have ownership in the caring for their own garden.