10 Tips For Gardening With a Toddler

We know that our little ones love helping. We know that they are usually picky eaters. Almost every avid gardener I know attributes their love for growing things to fond memories of digging in their mom’s or grandma’s garden. Which is how it’s supposed to be. A passion for growing our own food is something that indeed is passed down generationally – which is exactly why farming most often a family run-business, passed down through-out the generations.

There’s nothing more rewarding (arguably) than eating food that you’ve grown from seed to table. Young children especially, glory in this kind of bounty. I remember eagerly digging in the garden to find carrots as a young one. I would often be caught mid-way to my mouth with one before it was even washed. Today, now more than ever, the importance of growing our own food within our families is very real. We may not all want to admit to the rapidly growing reality regarding what is happening to our natural resources or the farming industry and the freedom to grow organic, heirloom seeds. It’s all become a controversial, sensitive subject.

Understandably. The thought of having no control over eating food that is contaminated with things we know aren’t good for us is overwhelming and seemingly impossible to avoid. We can start small. Within our families. By growing some of our favourite fruits and veggies. It doesn’t have to be grandiose. You don’t need a yard. As with anything, there’s always learning curve involved if you want to be successful with anything.

It can be fun and I guarantee your toddlers will love it. They’ll love growing it, learning, helping and most of all; eating the fruits of their labour! Every gardening parent I’ve spoken to, testifies that their kids are way less picky eaters and go for the fresh stuff.

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  • Fun in The Garden 1 of 11
    Fun in The Garden
    Little ones, even before the age of 2 can get involved...
  • Pint Sized Tools 2 of 11
    Pint Sized Tools

    Tools that that are safe and manageable for their chubby little hands will totally enhance their experience. Plus, they are adorable! We have this one.

  • Give The Age Appropriate Tasks 3 of 11
    Give The Age Appropriate Tasks
    Depending on their age, they may not be able to do any planting - but they can help you water or do it on their own. They can help pluck and pick. They can dig in the dirt and make you a mean mud pie!
  • Fabulous Pickers 4 of 11
    Fabulous Pickers
    This is the best part (well, next to eating). This is when it all soaks in for them - that they can eat what they've grown. Let them pick (and eat) away!
  • Start a Sprout Project 5 of 11
    Start a Sprout Project
    Germinate some seeds between layers of wet paper-towel and then place in a zip lock bag with on top of a warm windowsill. Put up a visually fun seed to sprout chart for them. Use egg cartons or toilet paper rolls to make mini planters and have them help you get started with sprouting inside!
  • Let Them Bury Their Sprouts 6 of 11
    Let Them Bury Their Sprouts
    Again, this one is age dependant. For example - my 3.5 year old could do this - when my 21 month old would probably be too rough with delicate sprouts.
  • Install a Toad & Faery House 7 of 11
    Install a Toad & Faery House

    Mandatory.
    Learn more via Spoonful

  • Make a Spot in The Garden Just For Them 8 of 11
    Make a Spot in The Garden Just For Them
    Aside from the faery toad house that is. A place where they are free to dig and muck about. Planting a couple of sunflowers here would be a great idea - especially the stalk-ones, they are so fun to watch grow! Your kid will be highly amused that they'll end up bigger than they are.
  • Grow Kid Friendly Plants 9 of 11
    Grow Kid Friendly Plants
    Things that are easy to plant, grow and dig up.
  • Grow Their Fave Fruits & Veggies 10 of 11
    Grow Their Fave Fruits & Veggies
    Most little ones love the sweetness and crunch of carrots, or strawberries and tomatoes - make sure to plant a couple of the ones that your kid loves!
  • Label Making 11 of 11
    Label Making

    Rain, wind-proof and toddler approved! Or you could make wooden spoon labels together - or just old-school popsicle sticks. Remember to use water-proof markers. Yea, they'll likely get it on themselves - and yes, it will eventually come off.
    Learn more via Little Green Fingers

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More Babbles From Selena…

Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

Elsewhere on the internets…

Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve

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