We are loving our Garden Week for Storybook Summer this year so many fantastic ideas and today is no different, we have a guide on Growing Salad with your Kids for you. It's fun to do and easy and it is a great way to get the kids interested in where their food comes from as well as eating new and different varieties that you can grow yourself. So here we go Growing Garden Salads with Kids.
Do you garden with your kids?
We have all heard that gardening creates family bonds, reduces stress, and helps your family eat healthier, but if you have never done it before, it might seem intimidating. Or perhaps you feel you are too busy to do that with your kids. Or maybe your kids aren’t that interested.
I have great news.
Gardening doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Or complex. Or even messy.
The best thing about gardening is that it encourages more outside time. But you can even garden inside if you get enough sunlight.
Storybook Summer Featured book The Magic Seed
We have included links to items that we used to do this activity. If you buy via these links we may earn a small commission.
The best place to start is with inspirational gardening books for kids. We have many favorite stories and poems about gardening, but one of our absolute favorites is The Magic Seed by Debbie Newhouse. In this rhyming story, two kids find an unexpected delivery accompanied by a cryptic note, “This magic seed is very rare. Only plant it if you dare! All it gives you, you must share.” Did the kids dare to plant the seed? Did they remember to share? You would have to read the book to find out.
This gardening project is perfect for learning how things grow from seeds. It's also a great exercise to help children learn the value of sharing. Plant the seeds, water them until they grow, pick them when they’re ready, stuff them in mason jars, and give them to a neighbor or a friend.
Need more inspiration for Garden Books for Kids to read the click the link and find our favourites to share with your kids.
What you need to Grow Easy Salads with Kids
A small, sunny area in your backyard or a planting container
How to Grow Salad With Kids to Share
- Run a paper towel under the water and squeeze out the excess water.
- Scatter seeds over the wet paper towel and place it inside the plastic bag. Seal it. We like to plant the variety pack. Most seeds we have ever tried (and we’ve tried many) germinate in 24 hours. If not, plant the sprouted seeds first and leave the other seeds behind for an extra day or two. Add a drop of water if the paper towel seems to be getting dry.
- Put fresh soil in the container or spread it in the garden. Gently transplant the germinated seeds. Of course, you can also sow the seeds directly in the garden, skipping step 1-2, but it will take longer for the seeds to germinate and your kids won't get to observe the magic in action.
- Water the salad garden immediately after planting and every day after that. Make sure that the soil doesn’t dry out between watering, or the plants won’t make it. But take care not to overdo it, or they will get moldy.
- Once your garden is lovely and full, cut off the herbs’ outer leaves and pull out radishes, beets, and carrots—or whatever you chose to plant.
- Wash everything, dry the plants with towels, and place them all in Mason Jars.
- If you feel crafty, draw a nice picture for a label. Or just add a note “Garden Salad. Washed and ready for use.”
Note: Seasoned gardeners will tell you that transplanting germinated seeds outside should be a gradual process. You need to toughen them by gradually increasing the time outside. We solved that problem by planting on an overcast day or during early morning or late evening hours. To protect the seeds from the sun’s harsh rays, we like to make a newspaper tent and keep it over our freshly planted seeds for the first few days until they got stronger. In addition, planting many seeds close together ensures a full garden, even if a few plants don’t make it.
Here are some other tips for gardening with kids:
- Buy kid-sized gardening tools. Who can resist the appeal of bright, pretty shovels and buckets? No one.
- Pick seeds that grow fast. You can eat your first radishes in as little as 2-3 weeks. Kids like quick results. Who doesn't?
- Encourage hands-on interaction with soil, plants, and water. Don't worry about buying gardening gloves. The sensory experience is what hooks kids on gardening.
- Make it an overall pleasant experience by smiling more, giving directions less, asking more questions, offering less advice, and generally thinking of it as an opportunity to be peaceful together.
Who are you going to share your garden salad with? What are your favorite garden books? What is your favorite thing to share? (My kids said they like to share food).
Eva, the creator of Kid Minds, believes that when you combine the science of how kids learn with the power of kids minds, you unleash the true learning.
Do you want your friends and neighbors to be gushing over your calmer, happier, more cooperative kids and eagerly demanding to know your secrets?
Get started with 50 things you can do today to connect with kids.
Plant Growth Activity Pack ~ $5.00
Plant Cells & Photosynthesis ~ $5.00