As someone who has studied Environmental Science and witnessed garbage floating in the ocean next to dolphins in the ocean, I strive to make eco-friendly choices for my family. Our recycling bin is fuller than our garbage can on a weekly basis, we use cloth over paper products, and we try to reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can. One of the most fun ways we live a more “green” lifestyle? By teaching our kids how to garden.
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All parents know that involving their kids in an activity makes it DRAG (I’m still traumatized by the amount of sprinkles on my floor during our Christmas cookie baking fiasco last year) but teaching them to garden at a young age makes SUCH a great impact on them. And I mean, they can’t make dirt even dirtier…right???
Why Gardening is Important
Gardening is an important life skill that everyone should know. Why? Because it teaches patience, hard work, and creativity in a way that many other activities don’t. Now, to be clear, I do NOT have a green thumb. My indoor plants typically don’t last very long (except for this GORGEOUS Fiddle Leaf Fig) but I am great at keeping our outdoor garden lush and harvested thanks to my helpful and outdoor loving boys. It is a chore that they can take the lead on and is simple enough that even the littlest kids can be truly helpful.
When my kids are involved in planning and implementing a garden, they take ownership and responsibility over every single herb, flower, and plant that we place in the ground. It’s almost like having a pet—but much less costly and time consuming.
And when they feel ownership, kids absolutely THRIVE alongside their plants. With gardens, you can quickly see progress when a seed is transformed into a fruit or flower in mere weeks. This type of gratification will keep them motivated and excited to see how their garden grows.
My oldest son is extremely artistic and does a great job sketching our growing garden throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall, which not only gives him an opportunity to showcase his artistry, but we also have great family conversations about nature and our impact on it as the seasons change.
Must Have Gardening Supplies
In order to raise gardeners, they need the right supplies. I’m not talking about cute shovels that break in only a few days. I’m talking about kid appropriate, high quality gardening tools. Whether you visit a local nursery or your neighborhood Home Depot, you should stock up on the following supplies:
A Garden Inspired Giveaway
I have partnered up with author Sue Fliess and local publisher Albert Whitman and Co. to offer a fun nature themed giveaway of the book “The Earth Gives More.” This book is a great way to get your kids excited about their gardening journey, as it beautifully showcases how much the Earth gives to us and how we should protect it for future generations to enjoy. You can enter the giveaway here.
Don’t forget to check out our Spring Bucket List for Chicagoans!
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