Kids & Company Blog

5 Eco-Friendly and Child-Friendly Gardening Tips

Child participating in planting activity at child care

If the age-old proverb, “April showers bring May flowers” is even remotely accurate, many of us are going to have exceptional gardens this summer! Gardening is a fantastic way to engage your children in sustainable practices while nurturing their love for nature. From seed to sprout, here are five child-friendly gardening ideas that not only cultivate green thumbs but also instill a lifelong appreciation for our planet—and create some unforgettable memories to boot! 

1. Visit Your Local Library for Seeds

Did you know that some public libraries across Canada have a community seed program, where growers donate their seeds and gardeners can “check them out” at no charge? All that is asked in return is that your family contribute the fruits of your labour (i.e. the seeds you end up with) to keep the collection viable, healthy, and fresh. (Tip: Check the local event list at your library, too: Often, local gardeners or guest speakers will give free workshops.)

2. Paint Rocks to Label Your Plants

Instead of traditional labels, add another fun activity to your gardening To-Do List and have your children paint rocks to identify what they’ve planted. (Popsicle sticks and wooden spoons work nicely, too.) Get the whole family involved, and watch as your garden becomes an art gallery too. 

3. Create a Table-Top Garden with Recycled Bottles

No outdoor space? No problem! Even though most of us are trying to reduce the amount of plastic bottles we buy, they can be reused to create a bottle garden. (Yogurt containers, milk cartons, old plastic buckets, etc., can also be used.) Start by cutting the bottles in half horizontally using scissors. Poke some holes in the bottoms for drainage and fill the bottom halves with potting soil. Encourage your child to plant small herbs (and save on groceries) or try succulents (they make great, economically friendly gifts). Arrange the planted halves on a tray or shallow container and place them in a sunny spot to thrive.

4. Make Homemade Pest Sprays

There is a way to kindly keep bugs at bay, but still protect the environment: by creating natural pest control sprays using ingredients like garlic, chili peppers, and soap. Blend these ingredients with water and spray them onto plants to deter pests like aphids, caterpillars, and beetles without harming beneficial insects.

5. Host a Garden Party

Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still create a fun-filled, educational day by gathering your children, friends, and family together to celebrate the idea of gardening. From seed swapping and wheelbarrow races to recipe development and flower arranging, to all of the arts and crafts listed here, having a garden-themed event encourages teamwork, physical activity, and friendly competition. 

Regardless of the size of your garden or the colour of your thumb, hopefully, these eco-and child-friendly gardening tips not only provide hands-on learning experiences but also instill a sense of community, responsibility, and stewardship for the environment for your children. Gardening can be a fun and educational way for children to connect with nature and cultivate a lifelong love for plants and the planet.

So, grab your gardening gloves (and some sunscreen) and dig in.

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