Little Green Thumbs

Celebrate spring and Earth Day (April 22) by showing your kids the joys of gardening. Not only will your kids learn about different fruits and veggies, but it can help to introduce them to healthier foods. Your little ones may be more apt to try new foods that they’ve helped grow! They’ll also learn how to directly give back to their community by donating some of their harvest to those in need. Check out these great starters to get your kids into the garden:

Plant the Seed

If you’re a beginner, plant the seed with your kids about building a garden by starting small. Easy indoor options include using recycled juice boxes, a little kitchen herb garden, or a subscription garden kit. Outdoor options include small format container gardens or tower gardens.

Make a plant journal to help them track the progress of their food from seed to harvesting, teaching them patience along the way.

Sprout the Idea

Read garden-themed children’s books with your kids to inspire them and instill an instant love of gardening. Look for books that will resonate with your kiddo and your home set up. From city apartments to country fields, flowers to fruit—there are tons of great books full of beautiful illustrations to choose from.

Get Growing with a Theme

Get kids excited and invested in the whole process by picking a fun theme that motivates them. Start them off with easy-to-grow (instant gratification) garden projects that are simple for kids to cultivate:

  • Pizza garden: Plant bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, and rosemary and show your kids how fun it is to make their own pizza.
  • Roots and Shoots: Plant spinach, lettuce, arugula, radishes, and carrots for a delicious mix of super healthy foods that are perfect for a salad.
  • Flower Power: Want to watch spring flowers grow? Plant non-edible seeds like daisies, sweet peas, marigolds, sunflowers, snapdragons, and milkweed for a beautiful garden that’s sure to attract butterflies!
  • Fairy Garden/Secret Garden: If you have a yard, you can make your kids their own magical spot in the corner of your yard or under a tree and fill it with painted rocks, toy fairies, and small planters arranged in a circle.

Helping Harvest

Teach kids the priceless lesson of looking out for their neighbors and community. Plant a little extra or add a row in the garden to share with a local food bank, neighbor, or community organization. Here’s some easy-to-grow produce that food banks generally recommend:

  • collards
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage
  • cantaloupe
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • kale
  • Roma tomatoes
  • peppers
  • winter squash