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Pregnancy and Parenting

A Garden for Children - Any Age

By: Arleen M. Kaptur


Gardening is not just for adults - in fact, children love getting down in the dirt, digging, giggling, and just feeling the warm earth. Having their own very special garden is a great way to get little gardeners started, older children adding their favorites, and adults watching, enjoying and learning as well. If you have an old "red" wagon, sand box, or toy box, simple drill some holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill with good potting soil either bought or from your own garden. If it has wheels - all the better. If not, maybe adding some is not too difficult. This way the "moving garden" can go where the sun is, stay out of the thunderstorms, and be a focal point wherever your young land-scaper thinks is appropriate. Make sure that the soil is kept damp. Not too much water and don't let it dry out either.

What to plant: bedding plants are interesting because they are quick growing and filled with blooms, but miniature sunflowers, and marigolds as well as pansies and other fast-growing flowers will do the trick. Even put in some "veggies." Cherry tomatoes, green peppers, bush string beans, and other good things to eat that your child can watch and enjoy. Herbs work too, such as parsley, chervil, etc.

How about a salad wagon? No, not at your local deli - right there in your yard, on your patio, or porch or even on your balcony. Fill with tomatoes, lettuce of different varieties, radishes, onions, and even a cucumber or two. Just enough to fill the wagon and then let your "gardener" get the salad for mealtime. Now that's a great way to get them to enjoy a healthy salad - they grew it, believe me they will eat it.

Whatever "type" of movable garden you help your child create, it's fun, not a lot of work, and kids get to watch things grow and even harvest them. Just don't plant anything that could be dangerous to inquisitive youngsters, like hot peppers. Spend a little time in the garden with your family - you won't regret it.


©Arleen M. Kaptur 2003 April

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