Learn how to start a family garden and make sure everyone helps with chores and get ideas for using gardening as a learning tool for kids.
Having a family garden is a great way to save money on groceries. It’s also a wonderful way to spend time together as a family! Everyone benefits from spending time outdoors and being active in the garden.
In our modern society, many people have lost touch with where their food comes from. Involving the entire family in putting food on the table is also a surefire way to recreate this connection and help kids understand where their nourishing food comes from.
The great thing is the entire family can help grow an amazing garden. It’s not just for adults… teens, older kids, preschoolers and even toddlers can help out in the garden.
Gardening with Toddlers and Preschoolers
While they need a bit more supervision than older children, there are actually many ways for little kids to help out in the family garden!
Here are a few ideas:
- Water plants with a small watering can
- Help plant seeds
- Paint flower pots
- Help choose vegetables and flowers to plant
- Pick up fallen sticks
- Harvest veggies and berries
- Dump food scraps in the compost pile
There’s so much for small children to learn in the garden. As you work together, you’re able to teach little ones in this age range about:
- How seeds sprout
- Plant parts (roots, stalks, leaves, etc.)
- Insects’ role in the garden
- What plant need
To get them really involved, I’ve created a free printable gardening journal for kids. It’ll help them be more engaged and involved with how food grows.
Gardening with Older Kids
Older kids can start learning more complex and physically challenging tasks that need to be done in the garden.
- Pull weeds
- Rake leaves
- Trim shrubs
- Plant flowers
- Water with a hose
- Transplant seedlings
- Harvest larger fruits and vegetables
Older kids can understand more complex concepts. Use this opportunity to teach them about:
- Soil quality and nutrition
- Gardening and landscaping tools
Gardening with Teens and Adults
Teens can usually help with most anything that adults work on in the garden. Some examples include:
- Mow the lawn
- Plant trees
- Trim trees
- Use a rototiller
- Maintain equipment
- Build a raised bed
- Build a greenhouse
Lifestyle Benefits of Gardening
Gardening can be a truly valuable aspect of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. There are so many benefits to gardening beyond the harvest you bring in, such as:
1. Helping the Environment
Organic food doesn’t get more local than when it comes from your own yard. You can also choose to garden without the use of harmful chemicals.
2. Staying Active
Working in the garden is a good form of exercise and allows you to get plenty of sunshine and fresh air.
3. Learning Valuable Skills
Learning to garden involves many different skills that can help you as an adult, particularly if you’re a homeowner!
4. Stress Relief
Gardening can be a very relaxing activity. Many avid gardeners find that it’s one of their favorite things to do to unwind. During a study on stress conducted in the Netherlands, two groups were analyzed.
One group spent 30 minutes reading indoors. The other group gardened for 30 minutes.
The group that worked in the garden was found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and reported a higher mood!
5. Connect to Nature
Staying connected to your food source and nature in general is worthwhile for people of all ages.
Keep Your Family Garden Organized
To help your family stay organized in your gardening projects, I’ve put together a free gardening chores checklist.
It includes gardening tasks that need to be done regularly that the kids can help with. You can even laminate it to use it again and again.