One of our all-time favorite spring activities to do with kids is gardening! Don’t let it intimidate you. This is definitely not something you need to over-think or over-plan. It’s all about getting a little dirty, learning about the Earth, and spending time together.
If you are new to gardening or if your thumb isn’t so green, start small. We suggest buying a simple seed starter pack along with a few packets of seeds at a garden center like Meadow’s Farms Nurseries & Landscaping, or a home improvement store like Home Depot or Earl’s True Value Hardware. Be sure to read the back of the seed packet to see how often to water your seeds and to get an idea of when they may sprout.
Need to make gardening even more approachable? You could simply just buy a young plant and a cute pot and let your kids have fun transplanting it.
BONE UP WITH BOOKS. Stock up on children’s books about spring, plants, and gardens at the library beforehand! Our library has an excellent selection of gardening books. Here are a few the Central Rappahannock Regional Library recommends:
Grow It Cook It. Simple gardening projects and delicious recipes
How Does My Garden Grow. Grow plants for food and fun-packed projects
Easy to Grow Vegetables. Greens, tomatoes, peppers and more
Grow Cook Eat. A Vegetable Lover's Guide to Vegetable Gardening
My Tiny Veg Plot. Grow your own in surprisingly small spaces
GET INTO NATURE. This activity works best outdoors where kids can get as messy as they need.
PLAN INDOOR POTTING ACCORDINGLY. If planting has to happen inside, it’s best to do this activity over an easily sweepable floor or even a tarp. Go in knowing that a mess will be made!
LET YOUR KIDS DECIDE. Allow your kids choose their own seeds or plants. It gives them a sense of ownership and control.
MAKE IT A TEACHING MOMENT. Be sure to read the seed packet/plant information to them so they can learn what to expect from their plant (e.g. growing time, hardiness, taste or color, etc.).
GIVE THEM SOME RESPONSIBILITY IN THE PLANT'S CARE. How much responsibility is totally up to you!