Disclosure: Activision provides Skylanders characters for review to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed within are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
Yesterday I asked the boys their favorite thing about gardening, and in typical fashion, the creative one answered “planting seeds” just as the hungry one exclaimed “eating what we grow!”
Whatever their reasons, the boys are committed to our family garden. They do the majority of seed planting in the spring and choose a few varieties of their own that they want to plant (this year – sunflowers and pumpkins). When it is time to harvest, they grab a pail and head with me to the garden, fighting over who gets to hold the day’s haul. At least that is what happens with the veggies.
The raspberries are a different story. All of the boys in toddlerhood had a special relationship with the raspberries. We would be outside playing and all of the sudden they would come walking out of the raspberries – hands and face covered in red juice. When asked whether they were eating berries, they’d all nod no…ignorant of the messy evidence and assuming that we’d never know.
Giving the kids some tools of their own gets them engaged in gardening. Here are our best tips to get your kids to BEG to help you in the garden.
Give Your Children Jobs
The boys are entirely capable of basic jobs like watering the plants or bringing produce back to the house.
Share the Power of Pollinators
My boys love the Skylanders saga, and I was so excited to see that Skylanders released Thrillipede and Buzz Wing for their SuperChargers game. Whenever the boys see a bee in the garden, they squeal and run away. Lately, I am trying to help them see the direct effects of insect pollination – particularly the difference between the big, juicy raspberries, they love and the self-pollinated ones that crumble in their hands.
Source: Fix.com Blog
By playing their favorite game as MY favorite pollinator, it gives us the chance to discuss why it is important to save bees – even if they seem scary or might sting. My favorite part of the toys to life movement is that we don’t have to have the screen on to enjoy them – so, on gorgeous days like today, the kids and their Skylanders join me in the garden.
Get Them Their Own Gear
When I garden, I have special tools and bags I use. This cute little set allows your child to participate in the fun with their own bag and garden gear. They can throw the food they pick into the bag, and weed or plant seeds with their other tools.
Gloves are a must have for kids who garden. First, kids’ hands get really messy in the garden. Second, kids love to steal your special garden gloves. So at this price, why not buy them their own set?
Introduce Hard Labor
My main goal in life is to get my kids to wear themselves out. They spend most of the day running in circles, and beg for harder jobs. However, for their safety, I haven’t given in to letting them push the wheelbarrow themselves – I have visions of them burying themselves in mounds of dirt and heavy equipment. However, this Radio Flyer version of the wheelbarrow is just the right size to let your little tike in on the fun!
Read About Gardens
A must have for any mini garden buff is Gail Gibbons’ From Seed to Plant. This beautifully illustrated book walks students through the entire plant life cycle in terminology that they can understand.
Random House Kids recently sent over a preview copy of Sophie’s Squash Goes to School. In this story, Sophie goes to school for the first time. With her two best friends in tow (Bonnie and Baxter – two squash that grew in her garden), Sophie learns that maybe she could use some human friends, too.