Gardening has a lot to offer your children, and it can provide kids with a better understanding of the world around them, and encourage them to spend time outside and in nature. It is also a way to teach children about patience – and other great life skills they need to learn!
My kids have started to learn gardening recently. My 6 year old brought a tiny little tomato plant home from school and we planted it in our garden together.
All summer long we watered it, and when that first fruit of the season came off of HIS plant, he was so excited and proud of himself. You just don’t get to experience that kind of joy everyday and it was so beautiful.
Also my daughter (age 2) really loves to help me in the garden. Every morning in the summer months she would go get the hose and start watering the garden before I even got my shoes on in the morning!
How Gardening Teaches Patience
Gardening isn’t just about nurturing plants; it’s also a powerful teacher of patience, especially for kids.
Let me share with you how this beautiful pastime has instilled the value of patience in my children’s hearts.
Planning A Garden
I like to talk to my kids about my garden plan before we even begin out gardening journey each year.
I like to talk about the kinds of plants we want to grow, and how much space those plants need. Then my kids like to help me come up with an action plan for the garden beds!
But we don’t plant things right away – we still have to wait for seedings and get new dirt and compost for the garden before we can start the gardening, which means…patience must be had!
Waiting for Seeds to Sprout
One of the first lessons my kids learned in gardening was that seeds don’t transform into beautiful flowers or delicious vegetables overnight.
It takes time, care, and patience. As we planted seeds in the soil, my children eagerly anticipated the day when the first green shoots would appear.
I think the green onions were the first to come up this year – that was VERY exciting for us, but most exciting for Dad because that’s his favorite vegetable to munch on – he’s weird like that and we love him.
This waiting period taught them that good things come to those who wait and that the best results often require patience.
Watching Plants Grow
Watching a plant grow and develop over weeks and months is a unique experience for kids.
They observed the gradual changes in their plants, from tiny seedlings to strong, thriving specimens.
This process taught them that growth is a gradual journey, much like their own development.
It encouraged them to be patient with themselves as they learned new skills and faced challenges.
Dealing with Unexpected Setbacks
Gardening isn’t always smooth sailing. There were times when our plants faced unexpected setbacks, like pests or unfavorable weather conditions. (Or like when we went away for 3 weeks during the hottest month of the year one time, so half the garden died off…)
Or like when our Black Lab ate all of my sweet peas! The WHOLE PLANT! It was a sad day.
These moments became valuable life lessons for my kids. They learned that setbacks are a part of any journey, and patience is essential when facing adversity.
We worked together to find solutions and nursed our garden back to health.
Waiting for Harvest Time
Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of gardening for my children was waiting for harvest time.
The anticipation of picking ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, or colorful flowers added an extra layer of excitement to their gardening journey.
They also really loved digging up potatoes and pulling up the carrots with me.
This experience taught them delayed gratification—the idea that waiting for something makes it all the more enjoyable when it finally arrives.
Then the fun part of processing the garden comes after harvesting, and that takes some patience too!
My Mommy Tips For Getting Kids Involved In The Garden
As a mom of three, I’ve discovered that one of the most rewarding and educational activities you can enjoy with your children is gardening. It’s not just about growing plants; it’s about nurturing a love for nature, fostering patience, and creating lasting memories together. Here are my mommy tips for getting kids involved in the garden, including a little trick that has always worked for me: leading by example.
Gardening should feel like an exciting adventure for your kids. Start by choosing plants or vegetables that they are interested in growing. Let them pick out colorful flowers or their favorite vegetables, and involve them in the decision-making process. Make it clear that this is something they’ll enjoy.
Invest in child-sized gardening tools. Having their miniature shovels, rakes, and gloves not only makes them feel like little gardeners but also encourages independence. Let them take charge of their tools and explore the garden alongside you.
Designate a section of your garden just for them. Allow them to have ownership over this space, whether it’s a small plot, a few pots, or a raised bed. Make it colorful and appealing with their favorite plants, and let them personalize it with fun decorations or painted rocks. We had 2 of these stacked up planters and I let my kids plant their own stuff in it all summer long!
Share stories about the wonders of nature and the magic of plants. Explain how seeds transform into beautiful flowers or delicious vegetables. Encourage curiosity by answering their questions and sparking their imaginations. We played with sticker books and read books about gardening a month before we even went out to the garden this year!
Engage their senses by letting them touch, smell, and taste the plants. Encourage them to feel the soil, examine insects, and explore the textures of different leaves. Gardening is a sensory-rich experience that fosters a deeper connection with the natural world. It’s actually ok for kids to get dirty – they can hose off or have a bath later!
Remember that kids might not have the same attention span as adults. Keep gardening sessions short and enjoyable, gradually increasing their involvement as they grow older. The goal is to create positive experiences that will foster a lifelong love for gardening.
Celebrate every little success in the garden, whether it’s the first sprout, a beautifully bloomed flower, or a homegrown vegetable. Acknowledge their contributions and make them feel proud of their gardening accomplishments. You can even compliment them on their watering skills – that always helps them with self-esteem!
Get Your Free Download
Take your parenting journey to the next level with our comprehensive ebook on Connected Parenting.
Download this ebook now and embark on a transformative parenting experience that will strengthen your bond with your child and bring joy and fulfillment to your family life.
More Like This
How To Teach Your Toddler Patience
23 Surprising Benefits Of Letting Kids Help You In The Garden
51 Simple Sensory Play Ideas for Kids
Simple Steps You Can Take To Raise Unplugged Kids