Gardening offers a productive summer activity for kids. Children experience a degree of anticipation when planting seeds.The excitement grows when the first seedlings sprout from the soil. Kids are more likely to eat vegetables that they help grow. An adult gardener should help to choose plants and seeds that offer fast changes, early harvest and interesting variety for children.
Start With Seeds
Children are drawn to colorful and interesting produce along with their favorite veggies. Select a packet of multicolored carrots to plant with kids. Mix in Easter Egg radish seed for a quick-growing addition to the carrot row. Radish seeds will sprout and emerge marking the area where the carrots will sprout up. This will keep the young gardener intrigued while waiting three weeks for the carrots seedlings to show. Choose nasturtium seeds for a plant with edible blossoms for a homegrown salad.
Peas are an interesting vegetable plant for children. Sweet raw baby peas will be discovered and eaten in the garden. Yellow and green beans offer textured, fuzzy leaves and colorful blossoms. Growing cucumbers or zucchini is an easy project for children to undertake. A small space will provide an area for several plants and an abundant crop to share with others.
Mystery and Adventure
Choose novelty plants for kids that are edible or that produce items for crafts and decoration. Plant potatoes in specialty bags, short rows or a set of recyclable tires. This plant-growing twist teaches children about the growth pattern of the potato and the value of reusing a product. Plant pumpkin, sunflower, gourd, colored novelty corn and popcorn plants in a large garden space. Special techniques such as hilling, feeding and weeding can be taught to kids throughout the gardening season.
Tomatoes are easily grown in containers or a garden space. Children can enjoy container gardening experience on a deck, steps or in the backyard. They can help start seedlings indoor during early spring. A visit to a greenhouse can be an educational trip for a child, especially when allowed to pick out a four-pack of tomato plants. Cherry tomatoes are a particularly enjoyable plant for the young gardener. Broccoli, peppers, watermelon, cauliflower and brussels sprouts are more challenging--making them a good choice for older children to plant. Teens can plant fruit--such as strawberry, blueberry and raspberry--with the guidance of an accomplished gardener.