Gardening with kids is an activity that keeps on giving. It's one of our favorite Spring activities. There's the fun of choosing the plants, planting them and watching them grow, but the main reason I love gardening with kids is that it creates an activity that can be done everyday. I have yet to meet a toddler who doesn't enjoy watering plants (and the grass, themselves, the dog and whatever else they can wet with the watering can!) and it becomes and activity that you can do each day.
If you plant a herb garden they can then go and collect the herbs when needed or when you have a lot growing (we put them in freezer bags and freeze for later when we have too many). The photo at the top of this page is actually 2 years old now and we are still using our wheelbarrow garden with our herbs in them. We have replanted a few times, and added a couple of new things, but my toddlers use this almost everyday.
We decided to make a wheelbarrow herb garden because our neighbor was getting rid of an old wheelbarrow, so it cost us nothing. Ask around and see if anyone has an old one laying around that they don't want or check out EBay or garage sales to pick up a cheap one. If you do buy one new you can get a cheap one for around $50.
What you need:
Drill (to drill drainage holes)
Potting Mix (the amount will depend on the size of your wheelbarrow)
Kids Gardening set (you really only need a simple set but there are some really cute kids gardening sets available! I couldn't help myself and bought the cute Melissa & Doug gardening set pictured below)
Watering Can - Obviously any watering can will do and you can pick these up for as little as $1 from department stores, but I have to confess to buying the cute Chameleon one below. At least we use it everyday!
Herbs - You can buy seeds, but I recommend buying small punnets of herbs so that they can see what they look like when they're planted. We all know that toddlers have no patience so this way they can be watering the herbs and picking them straight away.
What herbs to buy: I'm not a gardening expert (not even close) so I recommend talking to your local gardening center to find out what herbs will grow best for your climate and location. We live in a very hot and humid climate and I found that basil and mint grew really well (2 years on and it is still going strong). Chives grew OK but not great and our coriander died pretty quickly. I don't think it liked the heat. Try to chooses herbs that can handle a LOT of water as toddlers LOVE over watering plants!
What to do:
1. (optional) Paint your wheelbarrow. We really only did this because ours was so old, but it came up really well. My husband used some old spray paint we had in the garage and it came up really well.
2. Drill drainage holes in the bottom of the wheelbarrow. We drilled 4 in an average size wheelbarrow and this has worked fine.
3. Fill with potting mix
4. Dig small holes and plant each herb (follow the instructions that come with the herbs).
5. Water them.
If you create your own herb garden I would LOVE to see it. You can email it to us, or share it in our Facebook Group.
Some other activities you may enjoy are:
See more Spring Activities for Toddlers here.