My preschooler and I have been growing a little garden indoors for just over a month now. We’ve got a garden outdoors, but in Colorado, it’s been much too cold to plant anything yet so we started with seeds and little soil pellets back in early April. Gardening with preschoolers is always a lot of fun, but the neat thing about planting from seeds is that you don’t need much room to get started and your preschooler can watch as the plants peek through the soil and continue to grow.
We have a variety of plants we’re nurturing including a variety of tomatoes, green and wax beans, a few spices and even a handful of carrots. We are loving the process. Preschoolers love to participate in every step, and gardening is an easy activity for all kinds of participation. From seed selection at the store to preparing the dirt or soil pellets and even watering. We did have to have a small reminder lesson about the side effects of plucking leaves or tearing plants out of the dirt. We are on our second round of zucchini due to this learning opportunity.
In a few week’s we will transplant our plants into the pots or the garden outside. My preschooler will help care for them until we harvest the yummy veggies in the fall. She loves to water the plants and investigate whether anything is growing. Tomatoes are the best for this as the actual tomato is so easily recognized among the leaves, and there’s an obviously change from the green ball to the red. Zucchinis grow well in our yard, so that should be a lot of fun to watch too.
Fun gardening ideas and tips:
- If you plant flower seeds try to choose Perennials instead of Annuals so when you plant your flowers outside they will come back and bloom year after year rather than die off at the end of the season.
- Make sure to read the seed packages carefully and follow instructions. Make sure you have the proper room, sun and water to ensure good growth from your seeds.
- Put more than one seed in your prepared hole for planting to ensure growing success. We put in a small handful in some cases.. in this case “more is better” usually works best.
- If you don’t have enough yard to plant a garden consider a potted plant garden or even a windowsill garden. You can grow your own herbs or small veggies and fruits in very little space as long as there is enough sun and water.
- Try planting only one pot for each kind of plant so your preschooler can look for differences in the plants at they grow.
- If your preschool is a bit over excited about watering, make a watering chart. Create a chart that is checked off every time the plants are watered so your preschooler can see for themselves if it’s time to water again.
- While you’re in the dirt, make a few mud pies, practice your mud ball making or explore making waterways, dams and pools.