Kids love to dig in the dirt and pick the flowers.They love to plant the seeds and if you grow some vegetables it’s a great way for them to try some new foods as well.However, a lot of young children don’t have the patience to wait months for seeds to grow to see the effort put in.So we’ve put together a couple of list of the best seeds to grow with kids as they are quick and easy to grow.
So if you want to get gardening with your kids and start some seeds this year then check out our pick of the best flower and vegetable seeds to grow with kids.
Growing Seeds with Kids
Kids love to fill up the pots, add in the seeds. Then of course the watering is always fun. But, waiting for the seeds to pop through the surface and months of growing and caring before they can eat the fruit and vegetables or
admire pick the flowers can be boring. It’s even worse if you are in the classroom and doing a plant unit and want to grow some plants with the kids but only have a short period to do it in. So these are ideal for growing at home with your own little kids and using in your classrooms to study plants and flowers.
Whilst you are growing the seeds why not read a book about seeds with your toddlers and preschoolers.
What you Need to Garden with Kids
Depending on the size of your garden you don’t really need a lot of stuff to get your kids started growing their own flowers and vegetables. In fact, as long as you have some good quality soil, a simple watering can or spray bottles and some suitable containers to grow in you are basically set.
At the bottom we have some of our best ways to start off seeds that are eco-friendly and kids will love to make and use.
If your kids love to garden though check out our best equipment for kids to garden with where we’ve got the ones that we have found great for real gardening with kids.
Growing Seeds this year and want to do some journalling with your kids? Then check out our Seed Growth Activity Pack for Science, Journalling and Maths Activities.
Quick Growing Flowers
This climbing plant opens the flowers in the morning and then closes at night. Liking a sunny site it’s easy to grow and pretty too. But be aware that the seeds are poisonous so growing with young children supervision is especially important with these pretty flowers.
A traditional English Cottage flower and perfect for growing with the kids as well as having the added advantage of attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden. Sweet peas are perfect for growing up the trellis or in a wigwam and you can pick and place in vases around the home or classroom.
So easy to grow, sprinkle into prepared soil and then water, weed and watch as these bright colourful and EDIBLE flowers grow. Plus they are a companion plant and great natural pest control in the vegetable garden. They are also relatively cheap and will flower all summer long.
Another edible flower these really easy to grow pretty flowers looks great in the garden, whether grown in pots or in the soil they will brighten the day. Like Nasturtium’s they are also natural pest control in the gardens especially around tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, beans, squash…. They also attract bees to the garden another great benefit that will help other flowers bloom and your vegetables grow.
Although the traditional red poppies are a weed and will grow anywhere soil has been disturbed there are so many different sorts and they are very very easy to grow. Plus once you start growing them because they self-seed the area you can guarantee that for many years to come you will have lots and lots of poppies in the garden.
Each day over the summer holiday as a child my brother and I would race outside after breakfast as we took part in our annual sunflower growing competition. Which one of us would grow the biggest sunflower? We cared for those sunflowers and measured them daily. Then when they were grown and they got tall the flowers would appear, providing seeds for the birds for the autumn and winter.
Although they take a little longer to grow than some of the other plants mentioned snapdragons are great to grow in the garden with the kids, plus the flowers are edible too although can be bitter and may not be to some children’s taste.
Another English cottage garden favourite wallflowers are lightly scented and look good. They also survive in poor soil (so great for the edge of school playgrounds) and like the sun or semi shade. They come in a variety of bright warm colours that really add a splash to the garden.
Ok so not technically quick but once they appear in the spring these bulbs will brighten the day, mix up what you plant with some crocuses, daffodils, irises, snowdrops, alliums and tulips and throughout the spring the children will see the plants appear.
Foxgloves are also quick growing – these pretty but TOXIC wildflowers are easy to grow but children should be kept away from them as all parts are toxic. However, they are great for a wildflower garden and do grow quickly plus come back. They attract bees and other pollinators to the garden and do look pretty. They also grow in shadier areas. But take care as kids love to use the flowers as pretty little fairy hats.
Fast Growing Vegetable Seeds for Kids
Flowers look great in the garden, but it’s always good to have some edible seeds growing as these are a great way to encourage children to try new foods.
Salad Bowl Lettuce
With many different varieties available a mixed pack of lettuce seeds are ideal for growing with kids. You will find some are specific to a country like Italian seeds or maybe just a mixed bowl. Don’t worry about growing these and getting the perfect shape they are meant to be eaten young so unlike trying to grow iceberg or little gems kids can sow the seeds, water, weed and eat within a couple of weeks.
Mustard or Cress Seeds
Ideal for growing indoors like we did with our caterpillars these are one of the easiest seeds to propagate and you don’t even need soil to do it. Cress are a less spicy alternative but mustard seeds add a little spice to a sandwich when picked, washed and eaten.
With so many varieties to choose from these legumes grow quickly and are perfect for some early botany experiments like growing in glass jars to see what happens under the soil. You can even use them to create a natural teepee in the garden, an ideal reading nook in the summer months that you can reach up and have a snack from at the same time.
Not as easy to grow as some of the vegetables and flower mentioned but one of the favourite vegetables of many children carrots can even be grown in containers so reducing the need for a vegetable plot. Just make sure if you do grow in the vegetable garden that you sieve the soil first to remove any stones otherwise you will have wonky carrots!
Really quick growing these peppery vegetables are ideal on salads and come in many different varieties. I normally grow them in between slower growing plants so that the soil stays weed free and we get tasty treats from the garden to go with our salad bowl lettuce.
Chives and other herbs
Grow your own herbs with the kids, chives are quick and easy to grow and the purple flowers are pretty in the garden. Other herbs that kids will love growing are ones that they will enjoy cooking with – mint, basil, oregano, corridaner/cilantro , rosemary. We plan to have a herb wheel but mainly grow these in pots near the kitchen door or throughout the year on the kitchen window sill.
Surprisingly easy to grow, potatoes are a great vegetables you can grow in pots and within 5 – 6 weeks with early varieties you can have them to eat and enjoy.
Top Tips for Growing Plants with Kids
If you have toddlers then don’t be afraid to start gardening and growing seeds with them we have put together tips, especially for those little ones with our Tips for Gardening with Toddlers at Home.
- Use unusual containers – old boots, egg shells, teapots, and old pans all make for great pots
- Have everything to hand – compost/soil, seeds, watering can
- Make sure you have equipment that the kids can handle
- Teach the kids not to over water – start off putting less water than needed in the watering can and show them what it should look like when they water
- Get them to help to weed around the plants, plant out, water, feed and harvest
More Ideas for Growing Seeds with Kids
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.