Friday, May 18, 2012

Gardening with Toddlers 2: Simple Tasks

One of the best things about gardening with your toddler is teaching them to care for plants and love working in the garden. Of course, the key to building a love of gardening is involving them.
Beyond starting their own little garden or container garden, finding tasks they can do in your garden is a rewarding endeavor.

Toddlers can-

1. Water. Give them a small watering can, steer them away from plants that must be watered from underneath, and let them go.

2. Weed. Be careful with this one, but teach them to identify just one kind of weed, maybe dandelions, and have them "pull" those. Yes, they're likely to break it off above the root, but they're going to feel very gratified.

3. Compost. They're great at putting the compostables into the composter, love to mix it up, and if you have a tumbling composter, they'll be even better helpers.

4. Filling containers with potting soil. Can you say transfer dirt? Well, your toddler just might love doing this while you worry about what you're going to plant.

5. Inspect. Do you need someone to lift the leaves on your strawberry bush to find all the ripe berries? That's a toddler kind of job.

6. Talk. Studies have shown that for some reason, plants respond to being talked to. I know Mythbusters did something with this, but I don't really remember the results. Either way, toddlers like to talk, and plants apparently make good listeners. If nothing else, building better bonds between your child and your plants can only be a good thing.

Good luck in your garden!

2 reflections:

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

Yes! I'll try to keep these in mind since I garden with kiddos. Also digging holes (or shoveling soil), and picking peas and berries. Usually any task I give lasts about five minutes, and then the kids are off to play elsewhere… :)

Slee said...

Yes! Today he was extremely helpful at digging holes so I could plant some last minute garlic, and very good about planting the bulbs, but by the time I needed them recovered, he was off chasing a butterfly.