Guest Post: Spring Gardening Ideas for Kids

Today’s guest post is from Craig of Everything Backyard, a DIY gardening and backyard project website, geared toward those who love spending time in the outdoors and backyard, including kids. Today we are sharing his article on how to get your kiddos interested in gardening, and the ways you can teach necessary everyday skills to your children through the process of planning, planting and growing a garden. There are ideas here for everyone! We hope you enjoy the article, and when you’re done reading here, hop on over to Everything Backyard for more great tips to jumpstart your spring gardening and outdoor plans! Thanks Craig!

Spring Gardening Projects for Your Kids

Winter is finally over, but your kids definitely still have cabin fever. You want to get them started on projects that will interest and even fascinate them. Gardening is a pastime that you enjoy, and you were thinking that your children might find the same interest and passion in it as you do. Gardening projects that they might enjoy working on could include the following:

2D274905752976-indoor-herb-gardenIndoor Herb Garden
One of the simplest gardens for youngsters to begin their gardening hobby with is an herb garden. It doesn’t take much space, and it teaches a child the basics of planting edible foods. There are many kits available to get your child started on this project, but it is just as easy to gather your own supplies.

Find a sunny spot where these plants would grow well. An ideal place is a kitchen window sill where the herbs would be easily accessible. Take your child to a gardening center or home improvement store and help him choose the best seeds. Include basic herbs such as parsley, basil, oregano, and mint. Also purchase potting soil, small pots, and simple gardening hand tools.

Teach your child to read the directions on the plant packet and plant his seeds accordingly. As they begin to grow, show him how to water and fertilize them. When the plants are fully mature, instruct him as to the many uses of each plant. Muddle a mint leaf in a glass and add iced tea and ice. Make a chicken dish with either the basil or oregano. Show him how much prettier a plated meal is with the addition of a sprig of parsley. Be careful though; his interest may turn from gardening to culinary arts!

Raised Bed Garden
Even if you have very little space in your yard, you could purchase or assemble a raised bed garden. Select woods that are not chemically treated and help your youngster hammer together four boards in a small square. It could be four feet square or a five-by-three structure – whatever fits the space you have. Add compost and soil.

1_different-raised-garden-beds

Demonstrate how to section off the small space for each plant you have chosen. Stick with simple varieties such as tomatoes, onions, green beans, peas, and different types of lettuce. Radishes are an excellent choice also, as they mature very quickly. Some, such as the tomatoes plants, can be started a few weeks earlier and then transplanted. Help your child water and fertilize the different vegetable plants as they grow. When they are ready, use some of these to make a special salad for the family. Your youngster will be so proud of his efforts and his contribution to the family meal.

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If your child loves color, flowers may be what draws him to the hobby of gardening. Assist him in clearing out the flower beds in front of your home and then take him to a nearby gardening center to choose the type of flowers he would like to plant. These flowers could be either seeds or young plants.

You could take this opportunity to explain the difference between annuals and perennials. Draw out a plan for both the color and sizes of the flowers; read the seed packets or transplant descriptions to determine how tall each will grow. Help your child visualize how the taller ones in the back will look with shorter flower plants in the front. Take the supplies home and plant or transplant the seeds or plants into the ground.

Introduce your child to the concept of fertilizer, why it is important and how it helps plants grow healthier and stronger. Discuss how often the young flowers will need to be watered. As the flowers grow, talk about how long it will be before buds appear on the plants. when the foliage does begin to flower, celebrate by cutting a few select blooms and place them in a vase in your home for all to enjoy.

Container Gardenth
If yard space if very limited or even nonexistent if you reside in an apartment or townhome, consider starting a container garden with your child. It is very inexpensive to do; all you need is a few large containers or buckets with plant dishes underneath, drainage materials, potting soil, fertilizer, and seed or transplants. You can have your child plant either vegetables or flowers. To keep it even simpler, even citrus and avocado trees can be planted indoors.

Place drainage materials such as rocks or even old Legos at the bottom of each container. Plant seeds or transplants. Place the pots with the drainage dishes on a small balcony or sunny part of the home. Advise your child as to how to water and fertilize as needed.

As you can see, your children will love getting involved in one of these projects. They will learn how things grow and how to be responsible in caring for plants that need water and attention. They will learn how to make a yard look attractive and well-maintained and the basics of cooking with herbs and vegetables. These are all skills that will assist them for the rest of their lives.

– Craig Scott, Everything Backyard

 

A Lenten Rosary Booklet

This is a great idea for Lent. I’m excited about ordering a batch of these Rosary Booklets made by Nancy at Do Small Things With Love. I’m also excited to get the Lenten reflection coloring pages to go along with each day in Lent… I think it will help me slow down and take time each day to pray the Rosary with my family, and spend some quiet time with God….

The Rosary booklets are $8 each for a hardcopy/printed booklet. If you order 2, it’s only $15. And you get the coloring book pages too! Sweet!

2018-Lenten-Reflections-Adult-Coloring-PAges

image credits: do small things with love

Coconut Oil Fudge

Ok, um. This is delicious. And since we’re in the middle of an “elimination diet” where we’re not having dairy, gluten, or eggs, a treat like this tastes especially good! The nutritionist where we saw our functional medicine doctor shared this recipe with me, which came from Golden Barrel. Looks like there are all kinds of great recipes over there that I’m going to have to explore! If you like fudge, and want to make it healthy, give this a try! DELICIOUS. Yes.

photo credit: golden barrel

Immune Boosting Drink

I’ve been intrigued by tumeric lately as it seems to be a great herb for many immune system related issues. I recently tried a tumeric latte, which was delicious, and today saw this post by The Simple Times for a “Immune Boosting Ginger Tumeric Lemon Shot.” Head over to their site to see the very simple recipe, and be well!
(photo credit: The Simple Times)

My Etsy Store Updates

I’ve updated my Etsy Store with a few more items, most notably some crafts made by my 10 year old daughter. She and I attempted to do an outdoor craft sale in October but we got rained out. She had prepared her crafts and priced things, but never had the opportunity to sell anything. So I thought it might be nice to add her creations to my store. Take a look and post a comment on my Turning Leaf Studio Facebook page if you like what you see 🙂

Wooden Saint Peg Dolls

My friend is making these most adorable saint dolls! Something I’ve admired but have been too afraid to start… it seems like a daunting task to paint wooden dolls to actually look the way they are supposed to… but she did it!!! I was so excited for her and impressed by her work that I made her a little website so she could showcase her projects and take orders. I think her little saint dolls would be perfect as St. Nicholas or Epiphany gifts, and of course for Chirstmas! Check it out! She calls her shop Lovely Lady in Blue Boutique!

 

Guest Post by Education dot Com

Shannon from Education.com has a cute math idea for incorporating shapes into a fun craft! This would be a great activity for all my kiddos, ages 5-10, or any child who could use some practice with scissors or recognizing their shapes. Plus, we can get some fun fall or winter artwork out of the deal! (They didn’t realize that I LOVE topiaries! So I’m all over this project… !)

Topiary Trees

 

Help your child master shape recognition by creating some funky topiary trees. Topiaries traditionally are living trees which are shaped by pruning. These trees are made from construction paper and allow your little one to practice recognizing and cutting out shapes in small, medium and large sizes.

What You Need:
Construction paper (Green, white, brown)
Scissors
Pencil
Glue stick

What You Do:
1. Ask your child to name all of the shapes she knows.
2. Have her pick a few of them. We decided to use a circle, a square, and a triangle.
3. Using the green sheet of construction paper, help her draw each of these shapes she picked out.
4. Ask her if she can draw a small, medium and large version of each of her shapes. If she needs help or isn’t familiar with a shape, draw it for her and have her to trace your lines.
5. Encourage her to cut out all of the shapes.
6. Have her draw and cut out a small rectangle for the tree trunk for each shaped tree she’s making.
7. Starting one tree at a time on the left side of the paper, have her glue the trunk of the tree at the bottom of the page, then glue the largest shape at the bottom, medium shape in the middle and small shape at the top to create a tree.
8. Have her continue this process until each of her topiary trees is glued into place.

(my note… At this point, I think it was fun to then decorate the trees with other shapes, or glitter glue, etc. Math and Art at the same time 🙂 )

For more great ideas, check out Education.com.

Immune Strength Essential Oil for Fall

Starting to prep for the fall and winter “sickie seasons” by restocking some of my favorite oils from Rocky Mountain Oils. One of the top oil blends I like is Immune Strength, which we use on the kids’ feet and diffused in the air if we start getting ill.

They have some new fall scents out that sound like they would smell wonderful running through our diffuser at home. Check them out here!

Art Class with the Kiddos

We kicked off our homeschooling year with an acrylic painting session on sunflowers. It was the kids’ first time painting with (my) acrylic paints. We had planted sunflowers, on purpose and by accident, in our garden and in the chicken run, so we have plenty of inspiration! After a brief description of how acrylic paints work and a little demo by mom, the kids took off on their own! I think they did a great job!