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G is for Gardening with Kids

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Welcome to the Letter G in the ABC’s of Nature series!!

Gardening sustains our way of life, so this topic is so broad and deep that I cannot do it justice in one post!  I have decided to share a history of my own brief gardening experiences, while bringing my children along for the ride, through the years since deciding I had a green thumb.

When I was young, I went to visit my dear Aunt every summer for two weeks.  I adored these times.  And I especially looked forward to gardening with her every morning.  The days were hot, but the mornings were crisp and dew covered and heavenly.  I helped her water and weed.  And pick and cut flowers.  Her flower and herb garden was heavenly.  I still remember how I felt with her in that garden.  Peaceful and serene.  I always brought home some herbs: mint and oregano.  And I always found a way to kill them before next year came around again (though these are perennials!)

I am still no “good” at gardening.  Most of my indoor plants die — but then they magically come back to life when my son reminds me that I needs to water them.  Right now, we are sticking with aloe vera, jade, and orchid, all forgiving plants that need little water.


Gardening means so many different things.  Life.  And flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs, pumpkins and squashes, berries, big outdoor gardens, and small indoor gardens.

Right after saying “I do” in a church, we bought a house, and so I, naturally, bought flowers and herbs and seeds.  My aunts and neighbors provided me with hearty perennials.  In the fall, I planted bulbs.  Bulbs galore.

There are many ways to create a garden at your home.  You can grow a garden at a neighbor’s house, around your home amidst bushes and shrubs, or till an area in your lawn (if you have one).  If you don’t have an area outside to plant a garden (if you live in an apartment, etc.), you can plant seeds and plants in boxes or pots for inside or window use.

Easy Ways to Include Children in the Garden

  • Children love to “help” weed.
  • My children help plant our annuals after Mother’s Day in our window boxes and in the front of our gardens.
  • My son especially loves having the important job of watering the plants — he loves using the hose or watering can — what is it about water play that kids love so much?!  (He just turned two in the picture below!)


  • Children just love touching and feeling the flowers and dirt!  Let them explore!

DSC06287 DSC06283

  • We based a small preschool unit on Lois Ehlert’s beloved book, Planting a Rainbow and planted bulbs together last fall.


  • We cut flowers from the garden every week, so we have a colorful, season-appropriate bouquet on our table all summer long.  This, sometimes, it just the greens from the plants, which are just as beautiful!!


  • You can also send your child on a mini-leaf hunt — and ask them to carefully take a leaf from each plant to compare and contrast the different leaves that grow on the flowers and vegetables.


  • Have your child plant a seed, or a plant, in a special pot (or pots) to take care of and watch grow!  We painted pots for my son to make his special plant feel like his own.


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  • Have garden tools available for your special little gardener.  You can give them an old spade, or buy a cute little set.  This little tools set has an adorable little carrying case — and is less than $10.

G is for Gardening - Wildflower Ramblings

Our Flower Garden

When I first got married, I began gardening like crazy.  I loved planting, having dirt under my nails, buying new seeds and perennials.  I started just with flowers and bulbs, and I love sharing my flower pictures here on the blog.  I went a bit crazy.  And I have loved the results!  My garden is bursting with color (and weeds) all spring and summer long!

Our Vegetable Garden next door

This was in the neighbor’s field.  They grow lots and lots of tomatoes and squashes — and the cool thing is that this is a part of the manure pile, so the soil is crazy full of nutrients.  However, every time we’ve had a garden there (three years, I think), the weeds suffocate out the plants and it gets out of control.  We loved growing potatoes and tomatoes and peppers and beans all our own, though, without much work on our part :)

Here we are, John was maybe a week old in this picture!

IMG_8112Woh, look at that potato!  Potatoes, asparagus, and pineapples, are just about the coolest plants, in my humble opinion!IMG_8107Some of our tomatoesIMG_8181On daddy’s back, collecting tomatoes and peppers, visiting the cows (note all the weeds!)IMG_1028Enjoying our green bean harvestIMG_0916

Our Vegetable Garden in our yard

Our friendly farmer-neighbor volunteered to till an area in our backyard, so we could have our own garden.  I was very excited about this venture.  We faithfully planned and planted our garden.


I remember taking this picture of our first “harvest”: our radishes!  (I don’t even like radishes!)


And then it ended up looking like this (this is a year later, an after the winter photo) because I probably didn’t want to remember my failures as a gardener.


So, as you can see, I am not a “weed-er”.  But! My son did love our little tomatoes and we did have lots of lots of harvest — tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes!


Oh well.  I realize now that less is more.  With children running around, I can’t do it all.  So, we are scrapping the massive garden (for now), and opted to plant some tomatoes, peppers, chiles, broccoli, and brussel sprouts in little areas around my perennial flower gardens.  This is working out much better.  We, of course, don’t have a lot of extra space, but I love that we will still have little grape tomatoes for my children to grab and eat.

(Note the weeds and grasses looming around these plants! Perfection is definitely not an option.)


Visiting other gardens

It is important to instill in our children a love for all things nature!  We visit seasonal gardens year-round.  Picking produce is a wonderful way for little hands (and tummies) to get excited about farming and gardening.  So check out local gardens and farms in your area!!

Visiting our local Farmer’s Market



A local pumpkin garden


A local strawberry and snap pea garden

A local blueberry garden — you can see more at our Blueberries for Sal literacy post.

Cutting asparagus — how cool is this — I love watching asparagus grow, I think more than any other vegetable!



Our Favorite Garden Books

Reading about gardens is another way to teach your child all about how things grow.  We have several of the following books, but you can always visit your local library to find some of these, or many others, to have a brief Gardening learning unit with your child this summer.

G is for Gardening with Kids - Wildflower Ramblings #nature #preschool #booksforkids

Garden Fiction Books

My Garden by Kevin Henkes 

A Seed is a Promise by Claire Merrill 

Good Morning Garden by Barbara Brenner 

Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole 

Flower Garden by Eve Bunting 

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 


Garden Non-Fiction Books

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons 

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace 

How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan 

The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert 

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert 

One Bean by Anne Rockwell 

Two Little Gardeners by Golden Books 

Lois Ehlert’s Growing Garden 


Garden Board Books

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle 

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss 

Who’s In The Garden? by Phyllis Gershator 

From the Garden by Michael Dahl 

In the Garden by Elizabeth Spurr 

My First Garden by Wendy Lewison 

The Little Gardener by Jan Gerardi 

Bunny’s Garden by Golden Books 


Check out the rest of the ABC’s of Nature series at School Time Snippets

ABCs of Nature : G is for Gardening

Further Resources for Gardening with Kids

Gardening with Kids: A 30 Day Series  from The Educator’s Spin On It

Free Garden Pre-K/K Printable Pack from This Reading Mama

Montessori Inspired Garden Unit from Living Montessori Now

Make a Garden Box from The Measured Mom

Planting Flowers from Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Gardening with Kids from My Nearest and Dearest

Planting Seeds with Kids from How Wee Learn

Literacy Inspired Fairy Garden from Suzy Homeschooler

Garden Yoga Poses for Kids from Kids Yoga Stories

Garden Marker Stones from Adventure in a Box

DIY Bead Garden Markers from Meaningful Mama

Easy DIY Juice Box Planters from Parenting Chaos

Container Garden from Creekside Learning

Gardening with Kids from Dirt and Boogers

Creating a Family Garden and Seed Exploration from Kitchen Floor Crafts

Kids in the Garden: Growing Romaine and Working in the Garden with Kids from BPhotoArt

Planting Potatoes from Adventures of Adam

Seed Bombs and Flower Pots from Left Brain Craft Brain


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  1. Thank you for sharing your garden & garden experiences with us! Wow– LOVE your flowers. I have a bit of a flower fetish, too. I’ve been itching to buy more plants!! So many great resources you included in this book! My kiddos love helping in the garden, too. Our strawberries are here! And we have tomatoes, green beans, cucs, zucchini, watermelon, and pumpkin *hopefully* too!!

  2. Thank you for sharing this superb blog. It is really very nice to see the small kids doing gardening at this very young age. It is very important that the kids get trained in this at a very early age so that they can continue improving their gardening skills.

  3. you have written a beautiful post about children. This is an instructive post. Also, the picture of your garden have been excellent.Thank you!

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