Do you have a little spot of dirt for your kids to garden in? If not, today I’d like to challenge you to think about your outdoor spaces and see if you can come up with a spot that’s just for the kids. It can be anything from a large plot to a couple of planters.
Children learn through hands-on experiences, and this project will enable them to spend time outdoors, design their own garden, and make a deep connection with plants and nature.
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, there’s a good chance that you’ve been knee-deep in dirt at some point in the past month. We have a small garden that’s keeping us busy with our share of vegetable planting, soil tilling, and outdoor beautifying.
In the process of involving my kids in all my garden projects, they’ve grown their own fascination for dirt, creepy crawlies, plants, roots, and flowers. When my neighbor suggested that we turn a sad and dusty little spot of land between our houses into a kids’ garden, I knew this would be a fun project for us.
We started out with a chat about the dirt patch, and I shared that she would have the opportunity to design her own garden. We talked a bit about our vision and she couldn’t wait to get to the garden store.
I gave her a limit of fifteen plans, and she had to make some choices.
When she spotted these technicolor cacti, she decided that she wanted a section of the garden to be a cactus garden. Not exactly kid-friendly, but it’s what she wanted. And I have to agree that these little plants are spectacular. We decided to put them into a planter on the side of the garden.
I outlined the space with some bricks that remained from a neighbor’s garden excavation. Score. We then filled the space with three bags of garden soil (2 cubic feet each).
My Father-in-law bought my kids a little kid rake last summer, and it was perfect for this project. We also picked up some new gardening gloves, which I think go a long way for generating enthusiasm for a project like this.
Oh, and since it was a hot day and water would be involved (at some point), my kids insisted on the bathing suits. Love it.
Nutmeg chose the big pavers to line a path in her garden.
She decided on the direction of the path and I helped her set them into the dirt.
And then she decided where her flowers would go. I mostly dug the holes, just to make sure they were deep enough. Little Rainbow wasn’t such a big help, but she hung out, wore her new garden gloves, and talked about the dirt and flowers. Success all around.
So, what do you think? Do you have a little spot of land or a few planters you can set aside for your child to dig in, design, and call their own?
- Make an Organic Vegetable Garden with Children and Making a Play Garden from The Imagination Tree
- A collection of childrens’ digging areas in Playgrounds gone natural, from Modern Parents Messy Kids
- Not sure where to start with gardening? Read 12 Top Tips for Gardening with Young Children, from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots
- Add some diggers and loose parts to a dirt corner for Back Yard Play Spaces: Dirt Pile, from Go Explore Nature
- Fairy Garden, Thrifting for the Garden, Fifty Earth Day Activities, DIY Water Wall, Winter Gardening, from Tinkerlab
I’ve partnered with GoGo squeeZ, the first squeezable, re-sealable, no-mess, 100% fruit, no-sugar added applesauce based snack for kids in the U.S, as a Playbassador, which means that I have more reasons to share fun outdoor activities that celebrate play and creativity. All opinions in this post are my own.