Just because it’s December and winter doesn’t mean that there is nothing that you can plant with the kids in the garden. There are a few things to start now for early crops as well as some to grow and eat throughout the winter. We’ve even got some flowers that will add a beautiful splash of colour to your home that you and the kids can plant together this month. So if the rain has stopped then it’s the perfect time to wrap up warm and head outside with the kids to garden.
Vegetables to Sow This Month
Starting out with the vegetables as we are growing our own food with the kids and we have a few to start now so that by June/July you will have your first crops to enjoy.
We live in the south of the UK and are slightly warmer than other areas due to the salt in the air from the coast. So we don’t have any heating in our greenhouse or a heated propagator for the seeds to grow but depending on where you live you may need this to grow some of these this winter.
Onions and Garlic
December is a great time to start off some onion seeds and plant out some garlic cloves to grow over the winter months. Starting both these now will mean that you can have an earlier crop than those sets that you plant in the spring.
Garlic actually benefits from a period of cold and will produce some really strong bulbs come summer to enjoy.
They can be planted directly in the soil as long as you have great drainage as garlic dislikes growing in wet and damp conditions.
However, they are ever so easy to get the kids involved and have them growing them in containers and pots.
Although, you can plant onion sets in the spring, and onions seeds directly in the soil in spring later autumn and early winter are a great time to start off your onion seeds indoors or under glass in the garden.
Check out our egg carton seed tray which is ideal for using to start off your onions seeds with kids this month.
Looking for a crop that you can grow quickly and enjoy eating now then winter lettuce like Winter Gem are great to grow with kids.
You can grow in an unheated green house or in a cold frame. If you don’t have a cold frame or green house but have space you can make your own mini greenhouse with the kids from a clear plastic box!
Broad Beans are great to sow now in December. They are easy and you can grow them in the greenhouse or under you own cloches in the garden.
If you do grow broad beans with the kids then keep a couple of seeds to the side they are great to do the growing beans in a jar experiment so that your kids can actually see what is happening under the soil.
Mustard and Cress
Want to add some flavour to winter salads and soups. Then growing mustard greens and cress indoors with the kids is easy to do and you can add them straight from your window sill.
We love growing cress heads and although most often seen in spring with all of the Christmas baking we do we always have egg shells laying around which are perfect for decorating and making cress heads.
Herbs can be grown throughout the year indoors on your window sill. Basil, chives, parsley and dill are easy for kids to grow and perfect to add to your recipes you cook together this winter.
Flowers to Sow and Plant in December with Kids
Just because it’s winter your garden doesn’t have to be dull there are flowers that bloom outside during the winter months as well as some that you can grow indoors for a spot of bright colour during the short days and long nights.
Whether you are sowing seeds for next years flowers or have bought some cyclamen they are great for adding winter colour to your garden and easy for kids to grow.
Plant them in containers or straight into flower beds for winter colour or start the seeds off in trays to add to pots and the soil in spring and summer for next winter.
Want some colour indoors? Then forcing spring bulbs is great fun to do with the kids.
It is best to buy varieties that have been prepared for indoor growing so look for prepared, forced or indoor bulbs.
Easy ones for kids are Hyacinths and Narcissus and there are lots of different colours and types to choose from.
You can plant in standard pots but also use a variety of different ones. If you stagger your planting you will have flowers throughout the winter and into early spring to brighten up the home and it’s great for the kid to understand what happens with bulbs as you can even grow them in water to see the root structure.
Other Garden Activities for Kids this Month
Just because it’s cold and wet outside doesn’t mean that you can’t do things for the garden with the kids now. Check out some of these other garden ideas for kids below that are great to do this month.
It’s not to late in December to make your own nest box with the kids for blue tits or great tits that you can then put in the garden.
Don’t forget to feed the birds our easy fat balls recipe is great for even young kids to make but if you are looking for more ideas then check out our guide to DIY Bird Food that you and the kids can make.
Now’s the time to get ahead with some garden crafts so that you are ready for the spring. These easy stone plant markers are great to make with the kids and 6 years on we are only just having to recolour the drawings that we made then.
Another fantastic craft to do now for spring and summer is to make your own mini diy garden gnome from clay perfect to add a little colour and magic to your garden.
Check out our Guide for November below
It may not be too late to plant some of our November flower, fruit and vegetables if it’s still warm enough click on the link or the image to take you to our guide for what to plant in November 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.