Gardening can be fun for kids, though it requires more patients than most kids can muster up. Getting them started with an interest in gardening at a young age will increase their likelihood of eating healthy and continuing gardening as they grow older. Gardening can get kids off the couch and outside where they belong, learning about the world around them, and how they can relate to it in a beneficial way, both for them and the natural environment. Here are a few crops that are more likely than others to get kids excited about gardening.
Stevia seeds are on the small side, so you will need to help young kids when handling them, or even get a few starts instead of seeds. The excitement from stevia doesn’t come from growing it, but from eating it. Kids are in for a pleasant surprise when they taste how sweet stevia leaves can be, which can increase their interest in other green foods and plants in general.
Beans are a great first crop for kids to grow. The seeds are large enough for the kids to handle on their own, and the large size makes them great for learning since all the parts of the developing plant will be more clearly visible. It’s more fun if you sprout the beans on the surface of the soil so the kids can see the root and leaves come out of the bean. They can even let them go to seed and see the end result is the bean they first planted.
Mint is a great plant for kids because of its unique taste and its ability to root from nearly any cutting. It’s a great plant to demonstrate rooting cuttings from.
Kids love everything that seems to be sized just for them. Kids can water the tree and watch the fruit grow at eye level. Meyer lemons are also sweeter than larger varieties, so kids are more likely to enjoy them.
Whether you want to teach your kids botany, health, and fitness, or the utilitarian skills of self-reliance, getting them started early with gardening will put them well on their way.