One of my favorite things about spring is the bright beautiful flowers that bloom everywhere. It means the weather is getting warm and we can start to enjoy the outdoors again. I was especially looking forward to those first signs of spring this year because I knew starting a small garden on our balcony would be a perfect toddler activity. This post is all about planting with toddlers.
We don’t have a ton of space where we live and there is no garden space so I decided to put a few planters on our balcony with herbs and vegetables. I love the idea of growing our own herbs and vegetables to save money and reduce waste. Plus, we have been doing a lot of cooking with the little guy and he will be able to pick the vegetables and herbs we grow to add to the recipes. Aiden is not super picky, but I do notice he is more willing to try new things when he is involved in cooking them.
You can find tons of information and studies on the benefits of planting with toddlers. It is hands-on and a sensory experience which is perfect for toddlers. I loved watching Aiden play and discover (and get his hands dirty — he normally hates that!) Planting with toddlers encourages patience while they wait for their plants to grow and promotes team building and communication skills.
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This is how we planted our balcony garden with our toddler.
Supplies Needed For Planting With Toddlers
- Planters — We used two 24-inch plastic planters (similar linked).
- Moisture control potting soil
- Herbs — We chose lemon thyme, rosemary, and cilantro because they are things we cook with often and they grow well in the lighting conditions we get on our balcony.
- Vegetables — We chose snap beans and red bell sweet peppers. We chose them because of the lighting conditions and also because they don’t need a lot of space to grow or to be staked.
- Shovel — We got our set from the dollar section of Target, but I found this cute set too which comes with a bag and spray bottle.
- Watering can — This adorable watering can came from the April Growing Roots box. They always have the best boxes for toddler fun. You can read my review here.
Steps For Planting With Toddlers
- Organize everything in place you don’t mind getting dirty. We did our planting in the grass because I expected it could get messy (and I was right!) Don’t forget to dress your toddler in something that can get dirty.
- Line the planters with soil.
- Help your toddler put the flowers in the planters then have him/her around the plants carefully with dirt. This is good practice for eye-hand coordination.
- Once everything is planted have your toddler water the plants.
Here is a quick video of our planting fun!
Every day we check on our plants to make sure they have enough water. Aiden is learning responsibility and mindfulness by taking care of his balcony garden.
Activities To Go Along With Planting With Toddlers:
- Count the flowers on each plant. Identify the colors.
- Read books about plants. We love Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed and Oh Say Can You Seed.
- Make a rain catcher to recycle rain to water plants.
- Measure the plants marking a ruler weekly to see how they grow. Check out this activity.
Have you ever tried planting with toddlers? What did you plant? I would love to hear in the comments!
If you liked this post check out Homemade Healthy Fruitsicles for Toddlers, Things to do with toddlers: Surviving spring showers, and Potty Training Guide: How to Prepare for Potty Training