Teaching our kids about the world around them has never been more important. Knowing where our food comes from can help kids to understand the work that is involved, allow them to engage with nature and get them outside in the fresh air.
Basic set up
Whatever space you have – it’s enough to begin growing your own fruit and veg.
A single pot – you can teach your kids the entire process of growing food with one plant pot, some soil and seeds. Try a small batch of fruit like strawberries or even some herbs.
A large planter – you can have more of a permanent space with a small variety of things with a planter. Keep it simple with one or two vegetables.
A raised bed – a great way of containing a vegetable garden. It keeps pests away and provides excellent drainage. It will also get your kids outside into the garden where the learning possibilities are limited only by their imagination.
A garden bed – giving a whole section of the garden over to growing your own is a commitment but a satisfying project when it begins to yield results.
An allotment – the ultimate in growing your own spaces. A dedicated area where you can go with your children to work in the garden, dedicating time to the process but also to spending time as a family.
Grow your own tomato sauce – With some cherry tomatoes and a mixture of herbs (oregano, parsley, chives and basil) you’ll have everything you need to add a delicious sauce to your kid’s dinners.
Make plant labels – get your kids making their own plant labels using some ice lolly sticks or clothes pegs and a sharpie pen.
Mystery planting – buy yourself some vegetable seeds and empty them into small blank envelopes. Put them all together and let your kids pick out an envelope of seeds to plant and grow outside in a garden bed. What emerges can be a surprise for you all.
Start a grow bag – a grow bag offers up all the nutrients you need from your soil along with a semi-permanent container to grow in. These are great for growing tomatoes.
Grow a fruit salad – an ideal project for a raised bed or some large planters. There are plenty of berries that can grow well in the UK like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Grow a selection and make a delicious fruit salad or blend them up with oat milk for a healthy smoothie!
Tips for getting kids engaged
- Give your kids responsibility: whether its asking plenty of questions on what they would like to grow and where to grow it or giving them their own section of the garden, give them the ability to learn by doing.
- Select fast-growing seeds: things like radishes and salad leaves are excellent for keeping impatient kids interested. You may find them more willing to try new foods if they’ve grown them in their own garden too.
- Pick out some gardening clothes: pick out some clothes from your kid’s wardrobe that they won’t mind getting dirty. Encourage them to get their hands a little messy in the soil. Planting and growing can be just as much a time of play as a time of learning.
- Gardening tools: Think of gardening tools as practical toys. Giving your kids a set of mini tools that they can use in the garden can teach them the process of growing your own as well as ownership and responsibility.
Scott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.