Pre-school and Kindergarten
1. Tiny hands are perfect for picking small seeds out of packets. Show your child how to use a stick to poke shallow holes, drop in a seed, and gently pat soil over it.
2. Pick rocks out of soil and stack in a neat pile.
3. Kiddie-sized watering cans let even the smallest children “give the plants a drink” without drowning them.
Grade-school and Older
1. Set seedlings in place.
2. Define garden rows. Set poles on opposite sides of the garden, tie string around one and spool it out to the second. Using the string as a guide, use a trowel to dig a shallow line underneath.
3. Working together to properly space plants lets kids use basic math skills, like measuring in inches.
4. Watering the garden with the hose. (Be prepared for a water fight on a hot day!)
5. Fill planting holes with compost, planting soil, or–coolest of all–earthworms! Hunt for the earthworms as you turn over the soil in the garden.
6. Weeding requires concentration and attention. Point out the different shaped leaves and characteristics of the weeds and the crops.
Fun For The Whole Family (no matter what age)
Work together, to build the perfect garden resting spot. A shady bean teepee provides a cool hiding spot and provides support for a bumper crop of pole beans.
You will need: 7-9 six-foot bamboo poles or 2×2 beams, twine, pole bean seeds.
1. Find a suitable spot and mark a circular patch of earth (about 4 feet in diameter)
2. Dig a planting trench and add compost and fertilizer
3. Firmly push the ends of the poles into the ground on the outside of the circle. Sink them about 3” deep. Leave a wide gap between two of the poles. This will be the entrance to the teepee.
4. Tie the poles firmly together at the top using the twine. Remember your kids will be running in and out of the teepee, so make sure the poles are firmly tied together.
5. Plant the pole beans about 2” deep. Use two plants per pole and plant them on the inside of the bamboo frame. Water generously
6. In 7 to 10 days, seedlings should appear. With a little training to keep the vines growing in the right direction, the entire frame will soon be covered with thick foliage, followed by flowers, and then, the beans.
7. I like to mix in other plants, like morning glories or nasturtiums for an even more colorful cave!