Kids of all ages love to get their hands dirty. Why not turn that into a fun and rewarding opportunity to teach them about science and the environment, responsibility and patience?
Pick whatever herbs you want (basil does best in an indoor herb garden). Put some nutrient-rich potting soil in a see-through glass or plastic cup. I like to use organic soil for my herbs and veggies.
Let the child dig the holes in the dirt, and then plant the seeds according to the seed package directions.
If you’re looking for something super-simple, have them plant a small dry kidney bean or lima bean.
In either case, in about 7 to 14 days, depending on what seeds you chose, you and your child will see a little green seedling.
In this simple exercise, the learning opportunities are endless.
You can talk about the science of the sun heating the soil and water, that the plants search for the sun because, like us, they need vitamins to grow and be strong.
You can talk about the environment and organic foods. You can teach them about math by calculating how many days it takes for a seed to sprout. You can teach them about responsibility by making it their job to water the plants as needed.
Kids love to draw and color, so have them create pictures of what the plants will look like and what kinds of foods taste better with different herbs. For instance, have them draw a plate of spaghetti to go with the basil.
Best of all, when the herbs are ready to pick, your child can actually taste the results!
For future projects, how about having your child help you draw up a spring garden plan? You can talk about various flowers, vegetables, and what would work best for your family.
The most important part of gardening with your children is the time you spend with them, having fun and teaching them life lessons through growing their own plants.