Letting children experience the stillness and magic of nature offers them a wonderfully calming and grounding experience that is sure to stay with them throughout their lives.
Children as young as three-years old can begin helping in the garden (although even a young toddler can dig their fingers in the dirt!) They can help rake and hoe, and with a parent’s help, plant seeds in a small patch, tend the plants and watch them grow.
Gardening in Waldorf Education
In Waldorf education, gardening is usually practiced with children and their teachers in kindergarten through second grade. Teachers know that gardening with children provides early science lessons, but more importantly, working in a garden cultivates a connection to nature, which will lead today’s children to become caretakers of the earth later in life.
Later, gardening is an important element of the third grade curriculum in a Waldorf school when children study housebuilding, farming and gardening.
Backyard Garden Ideas
A backyard garden provides a magical place in which children can play and explore.
Some ideas for a backyard garden include planting a “sunflower house” or “beanpole teepee” – gardening projects in which children can hideaway during enchanted summer days!
And gardening is not limited to families who live in the country or in the suburbs. If you live in the city and don’t have a backyard, here are some urban gardening ideas for parents and children:
- Plant flowers around the base of trees on your sidewalk
- Plant window boxes
- Start seedlings in eggshells on your windowsill
- Tend to a planter on your front porch or stoop
- Grow and herb garden in your kitchen
- Start your own raised bed if space allows
Children are naturally drawn to growing things from seeds.
I still remember as a child planting carrot seeds in a little patch of dry dirt outside our apartment building in urban Los Angeles, and the wonder and awe of seeing the green sprouts from the seeds I planted and watered!
How could I have guessed then that I would grow up to live on a farm in Maine and have large vegetable and flower gardens?
Bella Luna Toys is pleased to offer high quality gardening tools for children, kids work gloves, and a number of books on gardening with children to help children get started.
You can shop our full gardening with children collection right here.