Gardening provides many individuals with an enjoyable, outdoor pastime that produces fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers for enjoyment. Although some children naturally enjoy gardening, others may need gentle persuasion to participate in this activity. Parents can encourage young children to develop an interest in gardening by teaching them gardening skills at a young age. Begin by planting seeds for your young children and discussing the process a seed goes through from germination through reproduction.
Select a variety of seeds that exhibit certain characteristics that make it easy to demonstrate gardening skills. Use large seeds that are easy to see and handle, as well as possess a high germination rate. Include seeds like corn, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers and beans.
Use biodegradable seed pots to reduce the risk of transplant shock when placing them into the garden soil. Fill these seed pots with average potting soil to a level just below the rims of the small pots. Tell your children that the seeds require soil for nutrients and support. Let your young children feel the soil before you plant the seeds.
Place a seed in the center of each seed pot. Tell your children what plant the seed will grow into and show them a picture of the mature plant in a seed catalogue, magazine or seed packet. Press the seed into the soil to the depth advised on the seed packet. Most seeds require a planting depth of about twice the diameter of the individual seed. Fill the exposed hole above the seed with additional soil and press down lightly.
Slowly pour a little water over your new seeds to avoid disturbing the seed in the soil. Water until the bottoms of your biodegradable seed pots appear slightly damp. Talk to your children about the importance of water for all living things, including plants.
Place a clear covering, such as plastic wrap, over the tops of your plants to help retain moisture during germination. Encourage your children to help you check on the plants daily to notice the first sprouts appearing above the soil. Keep the soil slightly moist during this period by adding water when the surface appears slightly dry.