Gardening

How to create an urban garden with children? The garden at home with the family

Having a children’s garden at home is fun and entertaining, and a tool to educate in essential ethical values.

They discover agriculture and natural sciences, appreciate food more, develop manual and cognitive skills, exercise … These are some of the benefits of the urban garden for children.

But there is more. They learn to work in a team, to have responsibilities and to entertain themselves, and also by sharing valuable time with their family.

And all this helping to take care of the environment and promote responsible consumption.

Come on, it is worth introducing children to gardening.

In this guide we bring you a little closer to the world of the home garden and give you some ideas to encourage the participation and interest of children.

Are you coming to plant the seed?

Planning the urban home garden

The garden requires studying and planning the available space , how to work it and with what varieties of plants.

One of the benefits of the home garden is that it strengthens bonds and allows us to spend more time together as a family. Listening to children in this phase makes them feel part of a common project.

Whether as a complete family garden, as a reserved space in it or a mini garden with a couple of pots just for children, what we achieve is that they acquire a sense of belonging and participation , responsibility, trust and, ultimately, we improve their self-esteem.

A very entertaining way to encourage participation in this phase is to add some color to the sober “adult” garden.

urban family garden

Activity: posters for plants

It is interesting to know what plants we have planted. It’s easy to forget which plant each cut or shoot is from.

Even adult plants can confuse us if we don’t see their fruit. And the aromatic ones, even more. If you are not a chef, do you see the difference between oregano, basil and thyme, for example?

So the best thing is to mark them, and here is the opportunity to make a children’s craft, the posters.

You will only need:

Cardboard or, better, thin plywood boards , like those from school marquetry or recycled from a fruit box.

Wooden sticks , such as ice cream sticks , or wooden clothespins.

Scissors .

Segueta (in case of using wooden slats ).

White glue .

Colors (pencils, crayons, markers or paint).

It’s very easy. In an hour or two of entertainment, you will have markers for the garden:

  1. Cut the cardboard, cardstock, or small boards to a suitable size. For example, 5 x 10 cm. Depending on the age of the children, adult supervision will be necessary.
  2. Glue the little signs with white glue to the wooden sticks or the clothespins. Let dry.
  3. Paint them in colors to taste.
  4. Write the name of each plant. Clever!

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Tools for a children’s home garden: a world for you

The “farm implements” are often too large for younger children.

In general, it is wise to look for minor or alternative versions . For safety, comfort and so that they feel part of the activity.

For the work that children can do they will only need:

A small shovel, rake and bucket . The beach ones can be used.

A watering can or similar container of suitable size.

Containers for sowing . Recycled pots, jars, containers … A wooden box or even a growing table will also be useful . The decision depends on the space available and the plants you are going to grow.

Substrate , small stones, coconut fiber and any other element that you use to create a soil in which the plants take root and are nourished.

Vegetable seeds, aromatic plants and flowers . Seeds are the easiest way to start growing.

In addition to giving them adapted tools, we propose three activities to motivate their participation.

Activity: decorating the pots

With a little imagination, simple flower pots become colorful garden entertainment.

You need:

Flowerpots . Ceramic, metal or plastic, whatever you want. Just make sure its surface supports paint.

Paintings .

Colored pencils, markers or crayons .

Brushes and brushes .

Glue .

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Instructions? Just let creativity rule . Colored pots, with geometric shapes, faces, characters or landscapes. Anything goes!

urban garden tools

Sowing in the home garden

Here comes the exciting part, the most curious part: sowing and seeing the first stems sprout .

It is a task in which children can participate without more help than some previous instructions. It will be very entertaining.

The planting can include flowers to make the garden more attractive and to please the children. There are some varieties whose flowers are well resistant to cold, such as chrysanthemums, so it is possible to have a beautiful garden all year round.

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Activity: Eggshell Seedlings

A good planting tactic is to start with seedlings .

They are small containers where the seeds germinate safe from the elements. They are then transplanted when the plant is strong enough.

You can use yogurt containers , for example. But we propose another type of seedbed that will seem very, very curious. Why not eggs?

You will need:

Chicken eggs (better organic ones!)

A marker

Substrate

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For a few weeks, do this with the eggs you consume:

  1. Crack them so that only about a third comes off. Empty them through that hole.
  2. Wash them gently to remove all organic matter, including the inner skin.
  3. Save them until it is time to sow.

Once the sowing is due, have the children paint a face on each egg , fill it with substrate and put the seed. An egg cup will support them during germination.

The sprouts will come out of those little heads in a very nice way.

And the best thing is that when taking the plant to the final garden, it can be done with the egg, which when degraded will provide calcium to the substrate.

Activity: plant your food

Let’s teach children to eat healthy and balanced . If they are aware of the origin of food, they will value more what they eat and how it is produced.

They will be excited to eat what they have grown themselves. It will taste like glory.

urban strawberry orchard

A very simple activity, which would be prepared in the planning phase, is to choose the plants of the little ones thinking about specific dishes that they like.

Thus, you can have projects such as “plant your salad” (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots …) or “plant your pizza (oregano, tomato, onion, pepper …).

You will not see children with more desire to eat vegetables.

Enrich the earth: compost

In all phases of the cycle you have to make sure that the soil has the right conditions. But it is when the plant is already sprouting and growing that it should be observed more closely.

Composting is essential and children can help by putting the amount indicated. But above all, they will have fun preparing it.

For the production of homemade organic compost , which has its science, we refer you to this guide , where you will learn techniques in which children can help (for example, choosing the right residue or mixture).

But we have an idea that you will like even more.

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Activity: worm farm

Another way to create compost or humus is with the participation of worms .

These animals turn organic waste into extraordinary compost.

Children are fascinated by worms, “weirdos” and “disgusting.” Creating a vermiculture system adds another layer of environmental education (and quality to the garden) that is really interesting for them.

If you don’t have enough space, it may be difficult to have a farm that provides enough humus.

But that is not to say that children cannot experiment on their scale. We propose you to have a worm farm in a bottle.

earthworm urban garden

You will need:

A plastic bottle of mineral water

Scissors

Black cardboard

Adhesive tape

Substrate

sand

Dried leaves

Raw vegetable leftovers from your kitchen

Worms! You can get them in pet stores or fishing products stores

Follow the steps below. The first two may require the help of an adult, but everything else is perfect for children:

– Cut the upper part of the carafe to make a container for the farm.

– Make some small holes in the bottom, to allow for drainage.

– Fill the container in layers . First, the sand. Then leaves and substrate. Repeat several times until complete, leaving at least 5 cm of free space at the top.

– Pour a little water to ensure the correct humidity of the medium. Worms need moisture, but not soggy. You have to give them water from time to time.

– Surround the carafe with black cardboard and stick it with adhesive tape. Earthworms want a dark environment .

– Drop the worms in the container and they will bury themselves.

– Leave vegetable remains above so that they decompose over the weeks. They can be vegetable and fruit peels (not citrus), infusion grounds, leaves, pieces of cardboard …

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Over the weeks, the worms will convert the waste into humus , a soil that is rich in nutrients that you can use in the garden.

From time to time, children can remove the cardboard to see what happens inside. They will find worms moving through the tunnels and little by little their number will grow, as they reproduce very quickly.

You can talk about the biology of these animals, how they improve the health of soils and the importance of natural fertilization in crops.

A good opportunity to teach them about the cycles of nature and recycling. Food comes from the land and must return to it.

urban children's garden

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The maintenance of the urban home garden

Is the game over with the planted seeds? Nothing of that.

It is time to wait, but also to care. Children enjoy watering the plants and it is a task they can do on their own.

They will learn the responsibility of caring and you will strengthen their self-esteem by trusting them with that task.

But it is also that, with the garden in development, it is when children become explorers. Get ready to answer a thousand questions.

Activity: bugs, bugs and more bugs

Children love animals. The worms will pique your curiosity, but when the plants start to develop that’s when the safari really begins.

The ecological urban garden shows that there are more inhabitants at home. It allows educating on the respect and needs of ecosystems , explaining how pests are avoided , raising awareness about the needs of animals, teaching that not all of them are annoying and learning to differentiate them.

It is time to explain to them how insects, snails, spiders and other inhabitants of the garden participate in this ecosystem, including the large neighbors: lizards, geckos, birds …

urban garden insects

These are our proposals:

The Bug Notebook

Magnifying glass, notebook and colored pencils . Now is the time to find, follow and study the animals in the garden, from the tiniest aphids to the largest butterfly.

The animals found are recorded and drawn in the notebook . Where possible, their characteristics are explained and noted: what they eat, where they are found, what position they have in that ecosystem, how to combat them if they are a plague … We recommend that you document yourself to help in these improvised zoology classes .

In a few years, this notebook will be a family treasure that you will see with nostalgia and affection.

The worm

A glass jar or cardboard box with a lid can turn into a worm.

What does it consist of? If you find a caterpillar in the garden, take it carefully and put it in the pot.

Feed her fresh leaves (eg lettuce) and see how she lives .

Children can draw the different phases of their transformation: from worm to butterfly, and discover the biological wonder that metamorphosis is .

They will be fascinated.

Activity: know the plants

Plants can also have their naturalist notebook. Not in vain, the garden is made for them.

Recording the entire growing process , from seed to fruit, can be a good task to keep children entertained and engrossed.

They can draw it and write everything down and, in addition, they can learn to dry the leaves of the plants and make a collection in their notebook. They can even learn to collect and preserve the seeds .

Another great family memory.

urban garden seeds

The home garden brings the family together

The garden not only entertains adults. It is a healthy hobby for everyone and children can find in it a fascinating world in which to develop their skills and let their imaginations run wild.

There are hundreds of tasks and activities that can be done in a home garden, even when we do not expressly seek to entertain children.

Do you want them to participate in an activity that is good for themselves, for the family, and for the environment? Start now with the ecological urban garden at home . To sow!

 

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