Gardening With the Toddler

I have always loved the idea of gardening.

I’m big on hunting and gathering.

It just tastes better if you have to work for it.

I don’t hunt though. If it wasn’t such an expensive hobby, maybe I would.

I like to fish, even though I get sea sick very easily.

And I really love crabbing, because eating crab is my favorite. We also happen to have Dungeness Crab here, which, in my humble opinion, is the best tasting crab.

Anyhow, I digress.

I love the idea of having a garden. I’ve dabbled in it here and there, but I have never had much success.

Now that I have kids, I am more motivated to follow through. Plus I was really jealous of people I knew that had a garden last year. Would it have hurt them to share their bounty?!

Fun ways to start a garden inside with your little one!

There are so many fun learning opportunities involved.

Not to mention the delicious food the kids are more likely to eat because they had a hand in growing it.

My plan is to have a small raised bed and teach my girl all about the how-to’s of gardening, (as I learn them myself.)

It’s the beginning of February and definitely not time to plant anything outside in my neck of the woods. So why not experiment with seeds inside?

I let Z pick out a few seeds to plant and I picked out a few.

We used egg cartons for our little starter project.

Gardening with the toddler empty egg carton

Using a glue gun, I glued empty K-cups to the lid side of the carton.

It was a great project for her because she got to do pretty much all of it. She filled the cartons with dirt, which was the really messy fun part!

Then she put the seeds in and watered them once she was all done.

She got a kick out of the different shapes and sizes of each of the seeds.

One carton was a few different types of herbs: basil, cilantro, rosemary. The other carton had zucchini, and sugar snap peas.

If you and your little one decide to do this, be sure to label everything you planted!

Gardening with the Toddler dirt in egg carton

I tied each of the two full sized cartons in plastic bags to create a little greenhouse.

Gardening with the toddler Two greenhouses

It’s something I saw on Pinterest. Supposedly by doing this, we don’t have to water them everyday.

I have one half carton without a bag, so I can see if there’s a difference.

Since the day we planted them, Z has asked to check on “what we’re growing,” every day.

I chose to plant sugar snap peas because I was pretty sure they would sprout in a few days.

They pulled through for me-they showed in less than a week!

Sugar snap peas

My girl was even more excited than me!

Gardening with the Toddler Z looking at sprouts

Like I said, this is all experimental. I am fully intending on buying plants at the store once it’s time. If any of our little starters make it, they’ll be a bonus!

Do you have a green thumb? Feel free to share any tips in the comment section below-I can use all the advice I can get!

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24 Comments

  • Reply twitchetts.blogspot.com

    This is so important! Kids need to know where food comes from and what REAL food is. They see so much processed stuff these days!

    February 6, 2015 at 10:16 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      So true! It makes me crazy!!

      February 6, 2015 at 10:28 am
  • Reply M from K&M: The Stay-at-Home Life

    What a great and educational gardening activity.

    February 6, 2015 at 10:37 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Yes, we’ve been having a lot of fun!

      February 6, 2015 at 10:38 am
  • Reply Katie Serbinski

    I like that this project can be done indoors!! We are always looking for new things to do during the winter months…

    February 6, 2015 at 10:56 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Yes! It’s so exciting for my girl to check on them everyday!

      February 6, 2015 at 10:59 am
  • Reply Lauren

    I have never seen that bag idea.. very cool!

    February 6, 2015 at 11:11 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      I hadn’t either. So far, so good!

      February 6, 2015 at 11:14 am
  • Reply pennypinchingpeach

    Great idea! I’ve been gardening my entire life, literally, and had never heard of the bag trick. it’s like a teeny tiny greenhouse! My children love gardening with me! They really like how we grow the kind of topsy turvy cherry tomatoes dangling off our front porch. They take up too much space in the garden, but they thrive in those hanging things. We made our own, but the kind you can buy work great, although I found them not to be the best for most other plants. My little ones love being able to walk on the porch for a fresh picked snack. 🙂 Raised beds are my favorite for pretty much everything else.

    February 6, 2015 at 11:32 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Exactly-it’s working great so far! Man, I wish I had your lifetime of gardening wisdom! I suppose I have to start somewhere. I can’t wait until the kids and I can go outside to get a snack-that’s the plan anyway! ☺️

      February 6, 2015 at 11:46 am
      • Reply pennypinchingpeach

        My mom had little gardens for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are doing things like collecting marigold seeds, helping her pick peas, and eating tomatoes right off the vine. You’re making priceless memories with those little ones right now, whether you get a bumper crop or not your first year. 🙂

        February 6, 2015 at 12:08 pm
        • Reply mamabyfire

          That sounds so amazing!! And thanks for the encouragement!

          February 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm
  • Reply Megan

    Great tips and ideas! I nee to try this with seeds to plant in the spring for a veggie garden.

    February 6, 2015 at 11:56 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Thanks! It’s been really fun!

      February 6, 2015 at 11:58 am
  • Reply Alana

    Oh my goodness! This is SOOO cool!!!! The K cups idea is so smart! I cannot wait to try this. Thanks for making me want crab for dinner 😛

    February 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Thanks! I like being able to re-use some of my K-cups. Haha-I always want crab for dinner!

      February 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm
  • Reply Naomi

    I think the hardest part is getting the dirt ready. Our dirt has solid clay under the first inch, so trying to make something without doing a raised bed is tedious. We also get rabbits in the back yard. Make sure you put some kind of fencing around your garden if you get wild critters!

    February 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Thanks for the tip! I’m pretty sure we’ll get raccoons, so that will be fun!

      February 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm
  • Reply storytellerssoul

    The Kcups are a GREAT idea!! This will be my 5th year planting a backyard garden with my kiddos. I think it’s SO important to teach kids where food comes from & how to grow it themselves. We have SO much fun & like to experiment with growing different things like purple carrots.

    February 16, 2015 at 8:51 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Thanks! 5th year?! Wow! I agree, it is important! Purple carrots sound like fun-I love those!

      February 16, 2015 at 9:02 am
  • Reply 10 Phenomenal Mommy Bloggers | Storyteller's Soul

    […]  Mama By Fire –  From bedtime routine to gardening with a toddler, this fellow Washingtonian mama has got you […]

    February 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm
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    […] to my dad and husband, my dream of having a garden this year has become a […]

    March 2, 2015 at 7:32 am
  • Reply Tiffany

    So much fun! We’ve tried to garden in our classroom as well. Eventually we got overrun by flied but it was a super fun project 🙂 I want to try this in my own home!

    April 8, 2016 at 3:55 pm
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