A green thumb can be a great thing to develop early on with your children. Kids love to play around in the dirt, and if you can provoke an interest in gardening with them early, you could be creating a lifelong passion.
Planning a kid-friendly garden, however, is more complicated than picking some plants out from the store. When gardening with such young ones, you want the plants you pick to be easy and encouraging to work with. You also want plants that are safe and conducive to the space that you and your child will be working with. Narrowing down which plants would work best can be challenging. But the joys of working with your child can create memories that could last a lifetime.
If you're hoping to get gardening with preschoolers, read on. We'll discuss what kind and which plants could be perfect for your little one's first garden.
What Kind of Plants Are Good for Kids?
If you're trying to pick out good plants for preschoolers, there are many factors that you should keep in mind. Commitment to these factors should result in a gardening experience that's fun and educational for everyone.
Starting out with your young new gardeners, you should attempt to keep things small and simple. Large plants or shrubbery are often cumbersome and hard work to plant.
Due to their relative size to your little one, they can quickly become an exhausting task. Large plants can also block the view of your child during the gardening experience, prompting quick moments of panic.
When working on preschool-friendly gardens, it's better to get small, low growing plants or those that grow with open environments. Groundcover plants, such as germanium or sunrose, can add a beautiful dimension to a preschool garden without creating visual barriers.
Keeping things simple can help ensure success as well-- and you want your garden to be able to flourish and grow.
Perhaps the most important trait to keep in mind when picking a plant, however, is the nature of their toxicity. We probably don't have to remind you that preschool children still retain a certain affinity for putting things in their mouths that they shouldn't.
Even if you have the most well-behaved child on the planet, you're better to play it safe than include toxic plants in your garden.
Many common plants, such as daffodils, are toxic, and if consumed could result in illness or even death. If you're unsure about the toxic or poisonous nature of plants that you are interested in, you can always look up their qualities online. The FDA Poisonous Plant Database is a great resource for checking the safety of any plant or flower.
Keeping toxic plants out of your garden can help create a safe, worry-free environment for any parent, and a better experience overall.
These safety factors are important, but you should also remember to get plants that will be fun, exciting, and appealing to your preschoolers. Plants for kids should be vibrant in color, shape, or scent-- appealing to their senses is a great way to get a kid invested in gardening.
Sunflowers, for example, provide a vibrant splash of yellow that can be highly appealing to a young child. Touch and texture both can also engage your young one. Soft fuzzy plants may be a good fit for your garden. A groundcover such as lamb's ears has an interesting and unique physical sense, reminiscent of a stuffed animal. This unique trait can help keep a young child interested.
Plants with pleasing scents, such as peonies, can make the garden a more alluring and pleasant place to play and work. These good-smelling plants often attract butterflies to a garden, encouraging another natural wonder for your preschooler to interact with and be in awe of.
Our 10 Favorite Plants for Preschoolers
There are plenty of amazing plants and flowers that can wow your kids. We're happy to share with you ten of our favorite options, all that should be a great addition to your garden.
Sunflowers, as mentioned before, are a great kid-friendly plant. The iconic visage of its bold yellow face is an exciting find for a young child, and they may be fascinated by its sun-chasing characteristics. And that's not to mention the yummy sunflower seeds they can take inside to snack on!
Snapdragons can be another great flower for kids, as they come in a wide array of colors and sizes. Consider including your kids in the selection process to give them a wider sense of pride and responsibility in your garden.
Marigolds can provide a similar function -- these beautiful flowers come in so many different colors. They can be a great choice for a preschool garden.
Flowers are an easy go-to for kids, but there are many other options. Dill's interesting, pickled scent can make it a fascinating shrub for a preschooler.
Growing mint shrub in your garden can create a feast for the senses, and there are many unique scents to pick from when planting.
And if you want to really impress your kids, why not grow some vegetables with them? The process of growing then eating what they've planted will give preschoolers a greater appreciation for the whole experience.
Radishes germinate quickly and can give quicker gratification to impatient kids.
Beans are a great plant for preschoolers given their small size and relative ease to plant.
Pumpkins can be an exciting plant to do around Halloween, and you can even find miniature pumpkins to plant, known as Jack Be Littles.
9. Lambs Ears
Plants that have interesting physical characteristics can be great for kids. The aforementioned lamb's ears have a fuzzy, stuffed-animal quality that should appeal to young ones.
Cotton, by the same token, can be both fun to play with and potentially highly educational, considering cotton's many uses.
Gardening with Preschoolers Can Be Fun
Though finding the right plants for a kid-friendly garden can be challenging, the rewards are plentiful. Seeing gardening through the eyes of a wide-eyed kid can make gardening with preschoolers a hugely satisfying experience for you and your young ones.
Have some favorite plants for preschoolers that we didn't mention? Let us know in the comments below!