Gardening With Kids: 10 Lessons They Can Learn

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Miracle-Gro and Bonnie Plants, but all thoughts and opinions are my own! Post contains affiliate links.

When I started my garden three years ago it was something to take my mind off the business of life. I loved the idea of being able to nurture and grow my own food, and while I knew it would be a learning experience for me, I never dreamed of the lessons it would teach my kids.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life




Year after year, our children have become more involved in helping me in the garden. They both love digging in the dirt at the beginning of the season, picking the vegetables during the middle of the season and digging in the dirt again at the end of the season to help me put it to sleep for the winter. However, it’s all the knowledge they gain throughout the process that I know will stay with them for years to come, and the learnings will shape them as they grow into adults who will one day be responsible for their own little place in the world.

Here are 10 lessons my kids, and all kids, learn from gardening.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Gardening With Kids : 10 Lessons They Can Learn

Dirt won’t hurt

Some kids (my daughter when she was younger) think dirt is, well, dirty. But playing in the dirt while helping in the garden shows them that it’s part of the growth process. Instead of just being something that makes their fingers “yucky” working in the garden shows them how useful dirt is to life.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

What it takes to grow

When kids help in the garden throughout the planting season and the summer they understand what it takes to grow, and not just plants. They begin to understand that plants need nutrients from the soil like the nutrients they get from Miracle-Gro Garden Soil. And, just like them, they begin to understand that plants need water and food like Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food to grow and stay healthy.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life



To begin each year, we always rake up the beds to get them ready and then top off the soil with the Miracle-Gro Garden Soil so the plants have a good base with solid nutrients. We use it each year because I trust it to yield fantastic results.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

We have planted straight from seeds before, but more often than not we use Bonnie Plants and start them inside around the same time we get the beds raked out. Both my kids like to help with this and even though it creates a big mess, I love that they learn things like how to soak clay pots before hand, how big to make the hole, how much to water in the pots and finally how to transfer the plants to the garden when we can trust the weather at night in Chicagoland. Because we can’t start planting in the ground until Mother’s Day weekend, I appreciate that Bonnie Plants give us a head start on the growing season.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Engages all the senses

Gardening can be a complete sensory experience for kids. Growing plants isn’t about just digging in dirt, although that’s a great way to experience using the touch sense, but kids can use all their other senses while learning how to grow their own food. Site plays a huge role as they watch their plants get larger and larger with the help of Miracle-Gro soils and plant food. Later in the season sound comes into play as bees and bugs fly around the plants, and of course taste comes into play when they get to experience the delicious fruits of their labor (pun intended).

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life



Encourages healthy eating

Learning to grow your own food encourages you to eat it. As you and your family eat more and more fruits and vegetables as your garden produces they may be experiencing new foods for the first time and discovering new favorite foods too. My daughter loves to grow and taste the baby strawberries we grow, and my son is finally eating cucumbers.

Lifecycles

Everything has a season. Big lessons can be learned in the garden about life and the lifecycle of plants, bugs and animals is one of them. From new baby rabbits (that you want to keep out) to mature bees carrying honey back to the hive and to the life of the plants themselves, they can literally watch life happen in the garden.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Bugs are important

Sometimes kids (my daughter again) are afraid of bugs. But the garden shows kids how useful bugs are in the world. They begin to understand that even earthworms have a place in the circle of life. They learn that bees really help to make the world go round and that even pesky bugs have a place because they provide food for birds. Helping them to understand how bugs help make them seem less scary.

Nurturing & Responsibility

These two are technically different skills but they really go hand-in-hand. Helping plants grow teaches kids how to nurture a little life and it teaches them responsibility since they will have to help water and feed the plants with Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All-Purpose Plant Food. Remembering to do this and helping adults keep an eye on the plants is a big responsibility for kids, especially young ones. My kids love to help water, but they sometimes forget that there are other steps involved and need a little nudge. They love to watch as their hard work pays off and the garden vegetables grow huge. Thanks to Miracle-Gro Garden Soil and All-Purpose Plant Food the plants can grow twice as big (vs. unfed plants).

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Environmental responsibility

Just as they learn responsibility for the life of the plants, gardening teaches kids to be responsible for the environment too. Taking care of the beds so that they can be sustainable year-after-year is a hugely important piece when providing a home for plants that will be good. Knowing how to use the beds as a sustainable food source is important.

Family bonding

For us gardening is a family experience. My husband even gets involved with it. It’s fun for us to do it together and experience growing our food as a unit. Not only is it fun but it gives us a chance to teach them kids so much and that’s fulfilling for us and them.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life



gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

Gardening is good for the soul

With all the craziness in the world today, gardening gives us a chance to pause and just take time out with each other. It keeps the kids busy exploring, thinking, learning and still allows them to be active. No screens are involved so that’s a big bonus. It’s a time out from the rest of life when they just get to concentrate on the dirt between their fingers.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life

As you begin to think about and plan your garden for the year, keep in mind that you can find everything you need from dirt to the plants to the plant food at Walmart. At no additional cost you can order everything you need online and pick it up at the store, which makes life convenient when you’re lugging around children who like to stop at each gum ball machine for 15 minutes.

Do your kids help you in the garden? What’s their favorite part of the planting and growing process?

For more kid experiences and tips, click here.

gardening with kids - The Everyday Mom Life



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Rachel
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42 Comments

  • Lauren May 23, 2018 05.50 pm

    This is a great post! My husband and I started a small vegetable garden when we first bought our house a few years ago and we just had our first child 5 month ago. I’m excited to get him involved in the process as he gets older!

    Reply 
  • Vox May 23, 2018 06.13 pm

    I used to love gardening with my daughter. When she was younger, she was curious and loved to get her hands dirty. She’s not so into it now that she is 17, but I remember that time fondly. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    Reply 
  • Autumn May 23, 2018 06.23 pm

    Nothing is better than fresh ingredients from your own garden. And I love how you’ve included the kiddos in this! Gotta teach them young haha!

    Reply 
  • K. Elizabeth May 23, 2018 06.29 pm

    This year will be our second year gardening. I love that my kids have learned so much about where our food comes from and have also gained a greater respect/appreciation for the environment.

    Reply 
  • Allison Cooper May 23, 2018 07.05 pm

    It really is awesome all the amazing things kids can learn from getting their hands a little dirty! WE have very little space to garden here in NYC…actually none..so we did some in plat pots recently for home grown herbs – so fun!

    Reply 
  • Connie May 23, 2018 08.25 pm

    My kids love helping in the garden. In fact, they’re better at it than I am.

    Reply 
  • Shelley King May 23, 2018 09.25 pm

    We have been planning pumpkins for years. This year my kids helped mulch and plant flowers. It was amazing family bonding.

    Reply 
  • Liz Mays May 23, 2018 09.39 pm

    Aww, I totally have to agree with your points. I hadn’t realized how many learning opportunities gardening with kids provides.

    Reply 
  • Mimi May 23, 2018 09.49 pm

    Such a great bonding experience, I used to love gardening when I was younger

    Reply 
  • Paula @ I’m Busy Being Awesome May 23, 2018 11.22 pm

    Haven’t realised that gardening could teach these many things, definitely something that is worth sharing with kids

    Reply 
  • Joline May 24, 2018 12.31 am

    There is something about gardening and growing things eh? We have a little backyard and we cannot wait to start planting all kinds of lovely things in it.

    Reply 
  • Stephanie May 24, 2018 12.42 am

    I love this! My boys (ages 3 and almost-5) love to help in the garden. This year, they both got their own small area to plant a few things. They both have tomatoes and squash growing right now. I thought about a few of these things but didn’t think about how it’s teaching them that some bugs are good, and the lifecycles.

    Reply 
  • Sherry May 24, 2018 12.58 am

    I only recently started gardening again and my children have no interest as they are teenagers. I loved helping my mom in the garden when I was young. I loved the feel of the dirt.

    Reply 
  • Amy May 24, 2018 01.03 am

    I think gardening is the perfect activity for kids. My son loved helping me to plant our window boxes in our yard.

    Reply 
  • Cyn Gagen May 24, 2018 01.17 am

    I just love gardening with my daughter when she was a little girl. We are actually planting an herb garden together this weekend so we’ve kept the tradition going. Soon, I’ll get to do the same with my grandson.

    Reply 
  • Anne Marie May 24, 2018 02.39 am

    Each year, we assign one vegetable to each child, so they can take ownership and be responsible for the outcomes. Gardening is a great teaching tool!

    Reply 
  • krystal May 24, 2018 02.51 am

    My son is going crazy about starting his own garden. He wants to go to a local farm and pick blueberries… maybe one day!

    Reply 
  • Joely Smith May 24, 2018 03.00 am

    I absolutely love gardening! Miracle Grow is seriously good stuff too! Gardening as a family or with the kids is such an enriching experience!

    Reply 
  • Cathi Crismon May 24, 2018 03.04 am

    Oh my gosh! I love this post. Gardening is such an important task for children to learn. The ability to grow our own food can be a life changer.

    Reply 
  • Claudia Krusch May 24, 2018 03.14 am

    I love gardening with my son! I can’t wait to get started!

    Reply 
  • Nichole Arnold May 24, 2018 03.55 am

    My son loves gardening (Well he loves using clippers to trim stuff lol) We are currently working on his own fairy garden in a huge wooden barrel.

    Reply 
  • Dawn Lopez May 24, 2018 04.33 am

    I loved gardening with my son when he was little! I especially loved the fact that it was something we could bond over.

    Reply 
  • Debra Hawkins May 24, 2018 06.41 am

    My kids love to garden! They especially love to plant flowers. Digging in the dirt is good for every kiddo!

    Reply 
  • Billy McLaughlin May 24, 2018 08.00 am

    This is really a creative ideas. I am agreed with you. Gardening is such an important task for children to learn. I think children are benefited from here in future. Every parents should have to concern with here. I used to love gardening when I was younger and i hope my son will be same like me. Thanks for the sharing such a helpful also informative article.

    Reply 
  • Vu Ha May 24, 2018 09.42 am

    I and my mother often plant trees in our small garden. It’s a good job when we have free time. I feel happy to look my trees growing up each day.

    Reply 
  • Melanie May 24, 2018 12.32 pm

    My kids and I planted flowers yesterday. I have a little one that likes gardening. We may plant a few vegetables soon.

    Reply 
  • Tasheena May 24, 2018 12.46 pm

    I love me a Miracle Grow products. Every year I try to start a vegetable garden around this time. I love the results that I received with their products. It’s so much fun getting the kiddos involved and watching the veggies they planted grow.

    Reply 
  • Scott May 24, 2018 01.05 pm

    Love this. We’ve involved our kids in the family garden for a decade! They now look forward to all the fresh produce!

    Reply 
  • GiGi Eats May 24, 2018 01.47 pm

    I used to garden with my mom a little bit when I was a kid. She used to always get lots and lots of flowers in the spring and get to planting – it was a spring tradition and always got me excited 🙂

    Reply 
  • Holly Lasha May 24, 2018 03.04 pm

    These are great tips. Gardening can be so fun. I love that you are getting your kids involved.

    Reply 
  • chelf May 24, 2018 04.06 pm

    I used to garden with my father when I was a kid. What a lovely way to bond as a family, spend some quality time together and teach the kids abiut having responsibilities!

    Reply 
  • Angela Tolsma May 24, 2018 05.19 pm

    Gardening is truly good for the soul! I love it so much though I will admit I struggle with the bugs! Especially the ants.

    Reply 
  • Sara Welch May 24, 2018 07.30 pm

    It looks like the kids really enjoyed this day! Gardening is so worth all the effort.

    Reply 
  • Ayana Aden May 24, 2018 08.08 pm

    There are definitely lessons learned when gardening. Great idea!

    Reply 
  • Fatima Torres May 24, 2018 08.30 pm

    Aw, this is too cute. I love doing things outdoors with the kids, more so gardening. There’s a lot kids can learn from doing so, more so how to be compassionate of things.

    Reply 
  • Bianca Dottin May 25, 2018 02.52 pm

    I’m terrible with plants but my daughter loves gardening. She has quite the green thumb. These are some great lessons!

    Reply 
  • Jessa Plant May 25, 2018 03.39 pm

    I love this post! We started a butterfly garden this year, but it’s not doing so hot. It’s hard to garden in Phoenix.

    Reply 
  • Catalina May 25, 2018 09.12 pm

    Gardening is so relaxing. But at the same time it is useful.

    Reply 
  • David Elliott May 26, 2018 03.56 pm

    Those are all great lessons for kids here. I think I should have done this with my daughter earlier. Getting her to understand dirt won’t hurt is a good thing for sure.

    Reply 
  • Brogan May 27, 2018 02.24 am

    I like all the different benefits you think of for gardening. I don’t have kids but I feel like gardening, in general, is so peaceful and relaxing so I loved reading about it.

    Reply 
  • Aileen Adalid May 28, 2018 04.19 pm

    I remember how I loved helping my mom in the garden when I was young (and how I still love it, but now I’m raising my own plants in my mini apartment). This is really a great thing to do with kids!

    Reply 
  • Lisa May 29, 2018 05.14 pm

    This is a great post! My kiddos are obsessed with gardening this year and are being so helpful, and Im loving it!

    Reply 

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