Gardening with your kids is probably the best way to instill a lifelong love of gardening and nature in them. Beginning at the age of five or six, children can have their own garden plot set aside. They can choose their own crops, do the planting and other work, and enjoy the harvest that they have grown themselves. Planting seeds with kids includes planning what to plant, as well as doing the actual work.
Sit down with your child and ask her what she wants to grow in her garden. Use a garden catalog or two to illustrate the different kinds of plants that she can grow. Ask what she wants to eat, and that will help dictate the garden variety.
Use the graph paper to draw a diagram of the garden. Use different colored pencils to illustrate different plants and where they will go. If you are not familiar with certain plants, refer to the seed catalogs to find out how large the plants will grow.
Dig the garden plot after all chance of frost has passed. Smaller children can help with this project to a large extent. The major digging may have to be done with an adult, but the breaking up clods of dirt and removing rocks is well within even the smallest child's talents.
Rake the garden plot smooth and work in compost to the top 6 inches or so. Children can sprinkle the compost and then use the rake to work it in without any adult help.
Use a handy stick to draw lines in your garden plot to separate the sections for different plants. Make sure that you know where each plant is going before you start planting seeds.
Direct your child in planting the seeds in the plot. He should plant all of the seeds in the different areas before watering. After all seeds have been planted, water the entire garden plot thoroughly.
Instruct your child on weeding once a week, and make sure that the weeds are kept down and the plot is watered weekly. Allow the child to harvest his own results.