Strawberries are easy to plant and care for and are sweet and delicious to eat. By getting children involved in planting and growing strawberries, they can learn about gardening and nature, and have fun at the same time. There are activities that children can take part in during almost every stage of the strawberry growth process. The important thing is to make gardening fun for children; strawberry plants are an excellent way to do that.
Turn the chore of planting into a fun activity by making your strawberry bed more interesting. Instead of planting an average, rectangular-shaped bed, let the little ones create the shape of the bed. Maybe they would like to plant a circular strawberry patch, or one lined out to form their initials (Miller), or perhaps even one shaped like a giant strawberry.
Making a Strawberry Basket
It is easy to create a hanging basket that displays strawberries beautifully--and children will have a great time making one. Children can do most of the work involved themselves with just a little supervision. Line a hanging basket with sphagnum moss. Add a potting mix of equal parts compost and peat moss. Plant strawberries at least 2 inches apart (3 to 4 strawberry plants per basket). Keep moist and cover lightly with straw or more sphagnum moss. Hang the basket in a sunny location and let runners trail down over the sides for an impressive strawberry plant display.
Making a Bed of Straw
Children can easily spread straw in between strawberry rows to keep weeds down. Explain how the straw prevents weeds from growing and taking water and nutrients needed for the strawberries. I guarantee they will choose spreading straw every time. After all, they are "straw"berries, and little ones will enjoy the idea of making up a "bed" for the strawberries.
Reaping the Harvest
The harvest has to be one of the best parts of growing strawberries for children. Searching under the leaves to discover the luscious, red treasures that lie hidden beneath will light up a smile on any child's face.
The Fun of Eating Strawberries
There are so many different ways to eat strawberries. Eating them fresh out of the garden is always fun and delicious, but you can also enjoy making and eating individual strawberry shortcakes, or a Jello mold with fresh strawberries in it, or popsicles made from your favorite fruit juice with fresh strawberries frozen within. The best way to enjoy the rewards of the strawberries that we have grown and harvested may be to top a creamy bowl of strawberry ice cream with them. Yummy!