Looking for ways to supplement homeschooling with fun, educational activities that keep children engaged with learning? If so, there’s never been a better time to get them growing healthy fruit and veg. 

Here are some of our favourite gardening blogs to help you get started. Full of child-friendly hints, tips and advice to inspire budding horticulturalists, these green fingered bloggers give you everything you need to help kids keep calm and grow stuff. 

Dogwood Days

A science lesson in the potting shed
Image: Dogwood Days

Why not start your kids’ gardening education with a simple science project to pique their curiosity? Former teacher turned garden and nature writer, Nic at Dogwood Days, has set her kids (8 and 11) a growing challenge. They’re growing tomatoes from seed and will be recording what happens from germination through to blind taste tests of each variety.

Rather than homeschooling, I’m hoping to garden school the kids,” says former teacher, Nic. She’s hoping to cover maths, PE, history, science, art, craft, geography, creative writing, reading and much more from her back garden. Even better, she’s publishing her lesson plans as she goes, so your kids can join in the fun. No garden? Any patch of green space will do, says Nic.

An English Homestead

Children love planting seeds says An English Homestead’s Kev
Image: An English Homestead

Planting up seed trays is a great way to introduce kids to gardening, says Kev over at An English Homestead. This hands-on carpenter, farmer’s son, and stay-at-home dad really enjoyed the day he spent planting seeds with his kids, “I could see how keen they were to help and how much information they had remembered from last year.

Now is “a good time to be a veg grower for our bellies, and our mental health, and just in case!” says Kev. He reckons that the combination of floods, Brexit and lockdown could mean that leafy greens will be in short supply this year. With a willing workforce at your disposal, now’s the perfect time to get busy planting. “As I’m looking after the kids at home they are going to become my own little “’and army’ and will receive a mainly ‘outdoor education.”

Green Fingered George

George working with his dad in their hillside garden
Image: Green Fingered George

“Broad beans are really easy to plant as they are quite big; they are ideal for young tots to grow,” says 13-year old, self-confessed gardening geek, Green Fingered George. It’s a good call and one that also offers great opportunities for learning. George says “If planted against wet paper or tissue in a jam jar you can watch the roots grow down and the shoots grow up.”

Tomatoes, cucumbers, sweetcorn and courgettes also make George’s list of excellent crops for beginner gardeners. His advice: “Try to harvest the courgettes when they are small. Turn your back at your peril and you will have giant marrows in no time!” George is well worth a follow – several years ago, when he was just 8-years old, George won the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year award.

Sharpen Your Spades

Radishes are a great crop for young gardeners to grow
Image: Sharpen Your Spades

Looking for a crop that produces quick results? “Radishes are such a fantastic crop to grow, not just because they taste incredible (dipped in butter if you please) but because they grow super-fast,” says passionate allotment gardener, Richard of Sharpen Your Spades.

A practitioner of no-dig gardening, Richard says if you’ve got a compost bin, now is a great time to make use of its well-rotted contents: “I used to spend long days, dodging the winter rains to break my back turning over the soil. Now I spend a fraction of that time simply covering the beds with compost.” Richard offers a wealth of info for gardeners with “little helpers” – make sure you check out his incredibly informative blog.

Growing Family

Seedlings in reused toilet roll inners
Don’t have seed trays and plant pots? Then improvise!
Image: Christian Joudrey on Unsplash

Gardening is brilliant – but how do you get cracking during lockdown if you don’t already have lots of gardening supplies?” asks avid gardener and writer, Catherine of Growing Family. Luckily, she has some great solutions: “Do you have a neighbourhood group set up on social media? This is a great way to share and swap seeds and plants locally.” Just make sure they’re left on your doorstep, she says.

And what if you don’t have seed trays? “Cardboard toilet roll tubes, egg boxes and yoghurt pots all make great plant pots. Rubber gloves will work in place of gardening gloves. Kids’ sand spades and rakes are a good alternative to hand tools.Growing Family is a great source of gardening advice during the current crisis and beyond.

National Children’s Gardening Week

Find instructions to build a kid-friendly pallet garden
Image: Carl Stewart

If you’re looking for something that will get kids excited and cheer them up, you can’t go wrong with sunflowers. Easy to grow, and with spectacular flowers, youngsters will find full instructions on how to make their sunflowers “smile” over at the National Children’s Gardening Week website.

This is a great place to find awesome outdoor activities for kids. Whether you want to make a bug hotel, pea shoot sandwiches or grow strawberries, there are plenty of easy challenges to keep kids busy. We recommend the pallet garden – ideal for those with a small outdoor space, it’s a clever project that kids will love to help build.

Skinny Jean Gardener

Learn how to get kids into gardening with Lee and Olive
Image: Skinny Jean Gardener

Grab yourself an old takeaway coffee cup or similar, says the Skinny Jean Gardener Lee Connelly. Fill it with general purpose compost, take a runner bean seed, and push it right under the soil with your finger. That’s one way to plant a seed – check out his YouTube channel or podcast to discover the other two ways of planting seeds.

A regular on radio and TV, the Skinny Jean Gardener and his daughter Olive are dab hands in the garden and will inspire you and your kids to make the most of the garden too. His current series of live shows “How to get kids gardening” is full of helpful hints and tips – a real must for budding gardeners and their parents.

The Tea Break Gardener

Kids love to harvest veg they’ve grown themselves
Image: The Tea Break Gardener

“The pure magic of seed germination cannot be underestimated and never gets boring,” says The Tea Break Gardener, Katharine. Just make sure you buy seeds that germinate quickly because children have short attention spans. Quick growing veg include Broccoli ‘Raab’, salad mixes, mizuna and rocket, microgreens and pea shoots, and radishes.

Looking for some pretty flowers to grow? Sweet peas are a great idea, says Katharine: “These usually germinate within 2 weeks and often much sooner.” Ideal for planting in your borders with a cane pyramid to grow up, “sweet peas are the magic porridge pot of flowers – the more you pick the more you will get!” Find more quick and easy plants to grow courtesy of Katharine’s self-isolators’ guide to gardening with children.

The Pink Wheelbarrow

Kids will enjoy mapping out the garden
Image: The Pink Wheelbarrow

Onions are so easy to grow and don’t take up much space in the garden so they’re perfect for a beginner to try and a simple activity to do with children,” says M. T. O’Donnell, the mum-of-two behind The Pink Wheelbarrow. Grown from seeds or sets (small bulbs), now is a great time to plant them in modules or whatever is to hand. Simply put them on the windowsill to germinate and then grow on for planting out.

If outside space is an issue, try growing pea shoots on your windowsill, says The Pink Wheelbarrow: “Growing microgreens on your kitchen windowsill is quick, easy, rewarding and so good for you nutritionally!” Looking for an art, design and maths project for bored children? Check out this great post and “get your children to map out your garden.”

My Family Garden

Planting sunflower seeds is a great activity for kids of all ages
Image: My Family Garden

Planting peas is a great way to get young kids involved in the garden, says the Mothin, the presenter of the awesome YouTube gardening channel, My Family Garden. Pea seeds are big and easy for young fingers to grasp, making them ideal for tiny tots to plant.

Keep watching to discover My Family Garden’s other top easy-grow seeds – from planting to harvest in just a few weeks. Kids will love to watch The Biggest Worm Farm Ever – spoiler alert – it’s full of red wrigglers.

This is a great place for families looking for gardening ideas and provides tonnes of practical advice on how to get started.

The Newhouse Family

Looking for a fun growing project? How about some funky cress heads.
Image: Shutterstock

Fancy making some funky cress heads? “All you need to make [them] is a pack of cress seeds, some empty egg shells, tissue and some imagination,” says Hazel of The Newhouse Family blog. “I can’t wait to see what they look like when the ‘hair’ grows!” 

If you haven’t chitted your maincrop potatoes yet, you should definitely get started now. Luckily this is a great opportunity to get kids involved, as you’ll see if you check out Willow’s series, Gardening with Willow. Willow is Hazel’s young daughter and she’s not only a brilliant presenter, but proof of how much fun chitting can be.

Have we missed one of your favourite child-friendly gardening blogs? Drop us a line via our Facebook page – we’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, stay well and enjoy your gardening.

Lead image: bokan

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