|Photo by Clare Bloomfield | Free Digital Photos|
Before you start planting seeds, take some time and explain the process to the child. You can get scientific if you want, but be sure you don't get too terribly scientific. A few weeks before you start planting, sit down and ask your kids for their opinions. What vegetables should we plant? What color flowers do you want?
When you finally have a plan of what your garden will contain, decide whether they will have their own little garden or will help in the family garden. For a little starter garden, you can start out with several 1-liter soda bottles turned into mini-greenhouses. Another idea for a starer garden is to give them their own little container and a seed packet of flowers of their choice. A few great choices are sunflowers, beans, potatoes, and flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
For younger children, you can actually start seedlings in toilet paper rolls (which I plan to do!), which is great for herbs. It allows them to see the growth happening but are too young to understand the aspect of gardening.
If you want to get sort of scientific, you can always do the Lima bean activity. If you ever did this in school, you just take a dried Lima bean, put in a plastic bag of water, and make sure to place the bag in a sunny spot. You can find a great tutorial at First Grade Factory!
Once you get your garden going, be sure to let them help with transferring plants, harvesting, or measuring growth. It is a great way to children to learn and they can get dirty!