Teaching Kids To Love Homesteading Part 1: Gardening

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I am summer camp director.  We are an environmental themed camp and even have a working a farm. Over the next view posts I’ll share some of the different games and activities that we use to get campers excited about gardening, cooking, and caring for animals.

1.  Give them their own little garden:
We try to have our campers help out every step of the way and make sure to have kid friendly tools for them to use. Have kids pick what they want to grow and then care for their plants all by themselves.  This is a huge learning experience and a great way to get them involved in the whole process.

2.  Grow fun food:
A great way to get kids interested in gardening is to grow produce that is appealing to them.  Crazy looking gourds are usually a big hit with our campers as are purple potatoes.  We also have a couple pie cherry trees, the kids call them “sour cherries” and swear they taste just like sour candy.

3.  Have snack time:
Try growing produce that kids can eat straight from the garden.  Any sort of berry works great as does cherry tomatoes and snap peas.  Encourage the kids to help themselves to snacks, after awhile they get pretty adventurous and will try all sorts of things.  I once happened across a camper eating a whole cucumber!

4.  Give them jobs to do:
Lets face it, kids are dirt magnets.  So let them get dirty! It takes just a few minutes to teach the difference between a weed and a plant after that let them go.  On a hot day let them water the garden and then turn the hose on themselves for a cool down.

5. Scavenger Hunts:
I haven’t met a kid who didn’t like a good scavenger hunt.  We have small stone animals hidden through out the gardens and the kids love to hunt for them.  Our staff will move them around before the campers arrive so you never know where they’ll show up.  This is a great way to get kids comfortable in the garden and it’s just plain fun!

6. Create Kid Friendly Spaces:
We have an awesome farmer and he has planted some great spaces for the campers to play in.  He trained the peas to grow along wire loops, creating a pea tunnel for the kids to crawl through.  He also built a green bean tipi that is a big hit with the campers.  It is a little more work but kids love having secret hideouts and these come with a built in snack.

How do you get kids excited about gardening?

Linking up with: Homestead Barn HopThe Modest MomNatural Living Link UpProverbs 31 ThursdayLittle House in the Suburbs

4 thoughts on “Teaching Kids To Love Homesteading Part 1: Gardening

  1. Only one of my sons was interested at all in gardening as a child. All would grudgingly do their assigned chores but didn't love it like I do. But surprise….all as adults have gardens of their own. So consider you are planting the seed even if it doesn't spout when they are young. Never thought I'd see them bragging on their tomatoes and beans!!!


  2. Sounds like a great camp. My daughter is working at a camp in Canada this summer as a counsellor – it's a whole new world for us as summer camps aren't a British thing.

    The main things my children liked when they were younger was getting dirty, and building bonfires in autumn.


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