Want to give a great ecofriendly gift to a young child this year? How about a gardening kit! You can pick up the supplies at any hardware store or garden store. Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Digging & Weeding Tools
You can find colorful sets of hand tools for kids that include a small trowel, rake and shovel. If you want to go all out you can add a kid-sized shovel, rake and hoe but these can get a bit expensive.
Your kit should include a nice pair of gardening gloves. You never know what you’re going to encounter when you dig in the garden!
3. Garden Pail
The pail can be used for potting soil, sand, mixing plant food with water, and harvesting. Garden pails also come in all sorts of colors.
4. Watering Can
There’s a wide variety of watering cans available. Watering cans range from standard dollar store variety to exotic animal shapes. Just make sure the child will be able to lift it when the watering is full.
You can buy small plastic pots or those biodegradable pots made from peat moss and wood pulp. If you want to recycle, make your own pots from things around your house, such as:
- Yogurt cups
- Water bottles cut in half with holes poked in the bottom for drainage
- Plastic containers from restaurants
- Toilet paper, paper towel or gift wrap rolls
6. Potting Soil
Buy a good quality potting soil as it will go a long way towards helping seeds get started quickly. The cheaper potting soils don’t have all the components you need and the seeds may not sprout.
Some plants are much easier to start from seed than others. You want to find plants that are easy to start from seed and are easy to grow after they sprout otherwise your budding gardener may get discouraged. For cool season outside plantings consider nasturtiums, sweet alyssum and dianthus. Many varieties of leaf lettuce are also easy to grow in the cooler months.
You can start tomato seeds indoors and move into larger pots as your plants grow. In the spring you can transplant your tomato plants into the ground. Check your geographic gardening zone to see when you should begin planting the tomato seeds.
In the warmer seasons try cleome, cosmos, sunflowers, torenias and zinnias for easy-to-start-from-seed plants. Basil and several varieties of beans are also easy to grow and fun for kids.
Check out books from your local library both fiction and nonfiction on gardening. Libraries have so many great colorful and fun gardening books for children. Look for books about “fairy” gardens as they are especially interesting.
A gardening kit can easily be put together for under $25 and makes a great gift which will provide enjoyment all year long. If you have children who are concerned about the environment or love nature, they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
If you’re looking for a fun, easy project that kids can enjoy year-round, consider making a terrarium. Once the plants are in place a child can personalize their terrarium with small toys or other decorative trinkets.