Getting your toddler involved in gardening is a joy. So maybe they like playing in the dirt more than the plants. But the wonder of nature is still like magic to your toddler. With a little planning, your toddler’s garden can be successful even if you don’t have the greenest thumb on the block.
Set your toddler up for success by planting some seeds that have a quick germination period. Wheat grass is great because it has a three to five day period for sprouts. This means that your toddler gets to actually see plants in a relatively short amount of time. While it isn’t a vegetable and they probably aren’t going to eat it, it will give them a sense of accomplishment. Wheat grass is also easy to grow and requires very little care. Some herbs also grow very fast.
Larger seeds are easier for your toddler to handle. While you can use very little seeds, they can be tougher to handle and harder to find if they are accidentally spilled. For very little seeds, make sure you store them in a spill proof container and dole out only what is needed.
Pick up some potting soil instead of trying to use regular dirt. Most backyard dirt needs some kind of supplements for successful seeds. The dirt is important to getting a successful start. Make sure that your toddler is wearing gloves when handling the soil and washes their hands afterward. Also, inform them of the “no eating this type of dirt” rule.
Buy your toddler their own small watering can. Since involvement is important, teaching them how to water their little garden is important. Plus, toddlers do find it fun to dump water on their plants. Show them about when to water by letting them feel the soil and determining if it is moist.
Finally, keep your toddler involved from beginning to end. When it is time to harvest, let them pick the vegetables. Then let them help with washing and preparing it. After all, your toddler should enjoy their reward even if they have to wait for it.