What better way to get out and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather than discovering new, fun activities to do with your little ones such as gardening?
Growing plants and getting children involved with gardening can be very rewarding for both them and the grown ups giving a helping hand. This is due to children having the responsibility for growing plants and being able to see their hard work blossom or potentially eating them depending on what has been planted.
Growing plants is not only a perfect way of getting out and enjoying the sunshine, but also a great way to spend quality time all together.
When growing plants with little ones, we recommend using seeds that will grow quickly; your child is going to want to see fast results so there is no point growing plants that take 6 months to bloom!
We’ve picked out some of our favourite plants that are suitable for children to grow.
Growing cress with children is brilliant as you can start to see results very early. It’s one of the easiest things to grow and can even be grown indoors.
Due to cress being easy to grow, it is great to help show children all of the things that plants require in order to grow. Growing cress can be really fun for children especially when grown in empty egg shells as you can draw a face on the egg shells and then eventually the cress looks like hair. We recommend watering the cress with only a small amount of water, every couple of days.
How long will it take to grow? Cress takes roughly around 10 days to grow and be ready to eat.
Sunflowers are great to grow with children. Not only are they really pretty but they are also easy to grow and their quick growth and height can be entertaining for children to watch. They are also loved by bees and are a great addition to an eco-garden.
Sunflowers can help to teach children about the full cycle of life due to them being annuals. This means that they complete their whole life cycle, from germination to seed production in the space of a year.
These flowers have a quick growth meaning that there is always something new for children to see, keeping them more motivated to trust the process. When growing sunflowers get your little ones involved by helping with the planting, potting on, tending, and harvesting. The more involvement they have the more intrigued they will be.
How long will it take to grow? After around 1-2 weeks you should start to see a shoot poke through the soil, this is when you can start measuring it each week to see how much it grows. To become fully grown it can take up to 8 weeks.
Growing carrots is something that children can get really involved in. Whilst digging the ground may be a little too physical for your little ones, sowing the seed once the ground is prepared is definitely something they can get involved with. By having this involvement in the growing process it will give them a sense of accomplishment when they start to see results.
Throughout the growth of the carrots, children will be able to stay involved and help care for them. Carrots need an inch of water per week, so ensure you don’t overwater them.
The most rewarding stage when growing carrots for both children and you is harvesting them. Pulling the carrots out of the ground will allow your children to see how their hard work pays off. To remove the carrots easily, ensure that the ground is slightly moist, then it’s time to give them a clean, ready to eat and enjoy.
How long will it take to grow? Generally carrots are ready around 12-16 weeks after sowing.
Growing tomatoes with children is fun and not too difficult for them to manage, you can even start to grow them inside. Children can get involved in the process by sowing the seeds and taking great care of them throughout their growing journey.
Many children love playing with water so this may encourage them to take good care of the tomatoes by watering them regularly. Tomatoes need to be watered at least once a day to keep the soil or compost evenly moist. Reduced moisture can cause the tomatoes to split or rot.
How long will it take to grow? Tomatoes can take 6-8 weeks to grow. Once they are red they will be ripe and ready to be eaten.
By children getting involved with the planting of fruit and vegetables it can also encourage your child to eat them.
Here at St Peter’s Prep, an Independent primary school we regularly encourage our students to get involved in outdoor activities including gardening. For many years we have shown our students how to grow various different plants and learnt about them in the classroom, which has been a very enjoyable topic for the students.
If you would like to learn more about our brilliant school or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today!