Creating Your Secret Garden Part 3: Keep the Kin-dears in the Garden

So far in this series, we have discussed preparation and planning for your crops – with little discussion on incorporating the children. This post will mostly be about the kids with some suggestions for hardy summer crops as well. This is my oldest child’s third year with a garden – but I have had her out there since day one. Obviously when she was only 10 months old there wasn’t much for her to do – but now at almost 3, she is really starting to get involved and even has her own flower she takes care of as well. Most kids love to be outdoors to learn and discover the world around them and creating a garden is the perfect way to help keep them involved! I even invite fellow friends and neighbors to come and enjoy in all the glory of our garden.

Garden Chores – There are many ‘chores’ that need to be done while creating and maintaining the perfect garden and children really can help out with most of them, and some of the more tedious ones as well. Here is my quick list of things my children help me with in the garden that require little supervision and have been completed by my children between ages 1 and 3.

  • Watering – There are tons of cute kid’s size watering cans that they can use to water the garden – but they can also help you hold the hose and place the sprinkler as well. Just know they are bound to get wet – which I usually end up wet when I water too, so I guess they are not that different!

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{Picture of Noli with her watering can by Lauren Carlisle}

  • Pulling Weeds – This may require supervision if you have plants already in the ground – but if not I always have the kids help pull weeds before putting plants in the ground. I also have them help me once plants have been planted. Yes I do need to show them which plants to pull, but this season they have almost gotten the hand of it!
  • Digging Holes – This is an easy one and most kids love to put holes in the ground – so take advantage. Whether it’s big or small, kids are great at this. If your ground tends to be hard, make sure to try to do this after a heavy rain. You can even get a tape measure down and have them use that as a guide on how far apart to put their holes.

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{Picture of the girls digging a hole by Lauren Carlisle}

  • Planting Seeds – Once their holes are in the ground, you can have the kids count out seeds or get them from you to place in the holes. This is a super easy task that most kids can handle. Also, if they have a gentle touch, they can also put the plants in the ground as well.

  • Fertilizing – This is obviously not for all fertilizer; we use the pellet slow-release fertilizer in our gardens. So I will give a small scoop to each child with a shovel and let them pour them over the plants or seeds they put in the ground.
  • Pruning – Once a flower or leaf has spent I have the kids go around and pick them. I find this not only prevents them from picking my flowers unnecessarily, but it also is less time consuming for me as well! Lastly, it helps out plants maintain health and stay lush!
  • Harvesting – Once your children understand when a fruit is ripe, it is so nice to let them just go to town. My kids love to pick ripe tomatoes, strawberries, and even beans. Yes they may eat some as they go, but who doesn’t!

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{Picture of Viv harvesting strawberries by Lauren Carlisle}

Garden Crafts – Regardless of the type of garden you have, they are meant to bring joy! So why not spice it up with some arts and crafts. There are so many options available – bird feeders, garden markers, stepping stones, sitting areas etc… One of the new trends that I find so intriguing is the fairy gardens. They are so cute and easy for kids to take care of – I hope to have my girls create one to put in our future flower garden! These crafts don’t have to be tacky and they can even have a legitimate purpose. Here is a quick list of some of the activities that I found most intriguing.

Children Veggie Gardens

30 Ways to Get Ready for Gardening With Your Kids

12 Garden Crafts for Kids

Biodegradable Birdfeeders

15 Fantastic Fairy Gardens Ideas

Summer Crops – Summer may be the easiest season to plant and have blooms, but can be the hardest to maintain. Between the heat, drought, bugs, and oversaturation, there is a lot to consider when maintaining your summer plants and which ones to choose. You can never do enough research about how to plant and maintain your garden.

Summer Crops

Summer Flowers

Summer Blooming Shrubs

Summer Flowering Trees and Shrubs

I hope these quick lists have encouraged and inspired you to get your children out there in the dirt. Kids these days are encouraged to live in a bubble and honestly I am afraid of the damage it will cause our future generations. It is so important to understand our environments and where our food comes from – more on this to come in a future blog. Gardening is just the first step in a long list of things you can do to encourage your children to live a healthy lifestyle, be creative, get involved in science, and to generally appreciate life! There are so many good things that can come from gardening and very few, if any, adverse effects. My children so enjoy working in the garden that my 3-year-old asks daily if we need to pick the strawberries or if the garden needs to be watered. I love hearing my girls talk about our environmental surroundings – I hope you and your children love these activities just as much as we do!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

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8 thoughts on “Creating Your Secret Garden Part 3: Keep the Kin-dears in the Garden

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