Dirty Hands, Mud-Covered Toes: Gardening with Kids

Isn’t it funny how as a kid there are certain things you hate and as an adult you find joy in doing those very things? That’s how it is for me and gardening. My mom was a member of the National Herb Society and had her own shop that sold live plants. She also taught classes, made dried floral arrangements, and gave tours of her gardens. My sisters and I were relegated to various gardening duties, almost all which I detested.

Now that I am all grown up ūüôā I have my own floral and vegetable gardens and find pleasure in the process. I still hate weeding, but I love the colors, flowers, and produce that are a result of what I have helped cultivate.

As an educator I am always looking for opportunities to teach from real life experiences and this is a fun way to do it. Little ones can learn their colors, and counting, older children learn responsibility, patience, life cycles, parts of plants, cooperation, harvesting, food preparation, and so much more!

If you haven’t tried gardening, why not begin this year? I will post pictures of my gardens once there is something to show you. Whether you are a veteran or a novice, send a picture to me of your garden and I’ll have a gallery for all to enjoy.

I have listed some books about gardening that you can use with your children. While these books are geared toward younger students, I find those to be the best when just starting out as they provide simple instructions and pictures.

The Ultimate Step-by Step Kids’ First Gardening Book: Fantastic Gardening Ideas¬† This is a book for beginning gardeners¬†ages 5-12 that will help you get started. It has 120 projects that you can do with your children so you will never be wondering what you can do with that patch of plants you have growing.

Kids Garden! The Anytime, Anyplace Guide to Sowing & Growing Fun This book for ages 9-12 provides you with basic  gardening tips as well as vegetable plant that grow well together. Yes, plants can benefit being near each other, as is the case with corn and beans. Some vegetables can be grown together  in a small area if placement is an issue (corn, pole beans, and squash). If you have never seen the Kids Can series before they are fun and easy to understand with practical suggestions.

Green Thumbs: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening, Laurie Carlson I used this book with my ¬†children when we planted a small vegetable garden when they were young. It has great tips on how to plant your seeds, make homemade bug spray, and how to use items milk jugs to make plant markers, watering cans, and plant tents. It also has projects and a list of seed companies to help you get started.

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening with Children, Sharon Lovejoy This is one of my favorites because I love the way Ms. Lovejoy writes and her illustrations are whimsical. This book reminds me of the peacefulness that I find when I am in my gardens. It is different from others in that each garden is thematic with one being a pizza patch, another a medicinal garden, and yet another being a garden for birds to enjoy. There are several more types of gardens that you can plant, but the theme for the book is that you and your child(ren) will garden together.

If you are interested in pursuing gardening with your children and want to start out small, I found an internet site that has several kits for you to purchase. No need to get the seeds, buy the soil, they have it all there for you! Gardening With Kids

If you are interested in purchasing heirloom seeds (non-GMO), here is a company that has been recommended. Baker Creek Seeds

For whatever reason you may decide not to have a garden of your own. If you live in the Cincinnati area and still want to be involved in gardening you can participate in this program.


Granny’s Garden School in Loveland is a wonderful resource for families, Boy/Cub Scout groups, AHG groups, volunteering, gardening (including shared harvesting), and they have a nice nature trail too.¬† She is planning another Homeschool series this summer (4 weekly sessions on weekday mornings) – let me know if you are interested in more details!¬†Margaret.Burgdorf@grannysgardenschool.org¬† It was a great success last year for ages 3-15!Roberta (Granny) is very homeschool friendly and always welcomes parent/child groups to come together to learn in the gardens.¬†Here is a schedule of events:¬†http://grannysgardenschool.org/100-1-00-a-year-in-grannys-garden-school.htmlCurrent Fundraisers:$25 Family Garden Kit:¬†http://www.grannysgardenschool.org/418-0-00-family-garden-project.htmlHUGE plant sale coming¬†May 5-6, click here for details:http://grannysgardenschool.org/403-00-0-plant-sale-webpage.htmlCheck out the website at:¬†www.grannysgardenschool.org¬†– there is always something going on that you could be involved with.¬† The gardens are conveniently located on Loveland-Madiera Road just a couple minutes from I-275.

5 thoughts on “Dirty Hands, Mud-Covered Toes: Gardening with Kids

  1. Thinking you’re a bit like karma, only better ūüôā An angel sent from above sounds about right! We were at the library to do some schoolwork for a change of scenery and your email popped up for resources for the garden- i let emily read it and she was ecstatic! We found 2 of the 3 books you recommended and skimmed through them tonight. So thankful for your posts and wealth of knowledge. Thanks, Lisa!


  2. Pingback: BENEFITS OF GARDENING FOR KIDS | Living Green

  3. I am just getting started on the Internet. I am retired now. I can see that there is a rich diversity in the blogs I am reading and I am trying to leave some comment whereever I visit. I think that you have to put some attention on a blog to bring it above the dry and boring verbage that is common, and you have definitely accomplished that. I am the proud owner of my own website and blog and i get ideas from blogs such as yours. Thank-you. TheVeryBest2You


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