Planting crops and vegetables is one of the most major ways to teach children about science and the environment. It also provides exercise and time in the sun, which is a thing that a lot of kids don’t get enough of in today’s modern world. In addition to these benefits, planting crops and vegetables from seeds also provides time to socialize and make friends away from phones and computer screens – this is also sorely lacking in the modern world.
Getting Kids Involved in Planting and Gardening
1. Introduce planting like a game.
However, it can be difficult to get kids interested in such a seemingly boring activity as the planting of seeds for vegetables and herbs. There are a couple ways to make it interesting and get the kids engaged in the activity. One of these is to make it almost like a game – for example, for every hundred seeds they plant, they can receive a reward like a snack bar or a slice of pizza. However, this can lead to kids rushing through the activity so that they can get the reward, which leads to sloppy planting and poor vegetables later on down the road.
2. Educate them of plants’ importance to the environment.
Another way to get the kids interested in planting crops and vegetables is to teach them a lot about how great plants are for the environment and the world. This can include teaching about the beneficial effects that plants have in terms of reducing global warming and cleaning up air pollution. Most kids are really softies at heart, so this will usually get a lot of them to be very passionate and dedicated to the activity of planting seeds.
3. Fascinate them with different kinds of seeds.
You can also try to get kids interested in planting seeds by giving them fascinating types of seeds to plant. You can find rare and unusual seeds at many websites on the internet, and surprisingly they are usually not very expensive. Most varieties of seed, no matter how rare or unusual, will usually cost under five dollars for a packet of thirty or more seeds.
In particular, there are hundreds of fascinating varieties of bean seeds that are fascinating to plant and grow. One Italian variety is the Dragon’s Tongue of Fire bean, which has seed pods with an impressive and vivid red coloration that are sure to get kids excited about planting and growing this type of bean. There are also yin yang beans, which have normal looking seed pods, but the beans themselves have a pattern that almost exactly resembles a yin yang. Another very interesting type of bean is the King of the Garden pole bean, which is a huge variety of bean that is very impressive to behold.
There are also a huge number of varieties of melons, which are both exciting and very tasty to eat. Kids especially are well known to love eating melons, including watermelons and honeydew melons. In particular, there are many fascinating types of watermelon, like the moon and stars melon, which is a dark green melon with yellow blotches. There is also the winter melon, a small melon with very sweet white flesh.
Once you have a number of different types of seeds, one way to keep kids involved in the planting projects over time is to allow them to choose which type of seed they want to plant. This will allow kids to choose a vegetable or fruit that they like to eat, which they will naturally be more excited about growing than something they don’t like. They will also feel generally more invested in the project, since they will be growing something that is unique to them and that they picked out on their own.
4. Be creative. Mock a county fair farm show.
Another way to keep kids excited about the gardening project is to start the project months in advance, and plan an awards ceremony or a mock county fair farm show several months down the line. You can have parents or other teachers or even the class of kids act as judges and award points to the different plants that your kids have grown. There can be several categories for kids to win awards in to ensure that no one feels left out: you can have categories for tallest plant, largest individual melon, most melons in total, most melons on a single plant, most attractive melon, et cetera. You can do this for each type of plant that you made available for your kids to work with. This contest and award ceremony will keep them excited and motivated about caring for their plant and making sure that they pay attention to its needs for the full duration of the project.
So overall, teaching kids to plant can be a great way to start a project that will keep them motivated and involved for a long time. Some kids may even be lucky enough to develop a lifelong passion for gardening.