Starting a Herb Garden with Kids: Easy and Fun

Gardening with kids is a wonderful way to introduce the little ones to the joys of growing their own food, learning about nature, and spending quality time outdoors with family. Starting a herb garden, in particular, is a simple and engaging activity that can be both educational and fun. Herbs are easy to grow, require minimal care, and can thrive in small spaces, making them perfect for busy families with young children. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of creating a kid-friendly herb garden, highlighting 10 specific herbs to plant and providing simple tips to make this activity enjoyable for the whole family.

Why Start a Herb Garden with Kids?

Gardening with kids offers numerous benefits, including teaching responsibility, patience, and the wonders of nature. Herbs, with their variety of scents, textures, and uses, can captivate young minds and stimulate their senses. Moreover, harvesting herbs that they’ve grown themselves can give children a sense of accomplishment and encourage healthy eating habits.

Choosing the Right Herbs

When selecting herbs for your garden, consider the following 10 herbs for their ease of growth, usefulness, and appeal to children:

1. Basil

With its fast growth and delicious aroma, basil is a hit with kids. It's perfect for making pesto or adding fresh flavor to pizzas.

2. Mint

Mint is incredibly easy to grow and great for making homemade lemonade or garnishing desserts. Just be sure to contain it, as it can spread quickly.

3. Parsley

A hardy herb that can be grown in cooler climates. Parsley is rich in vitamins and perfect for garnishing dishes.

parsley plant in basket with woman's hand

4. Chives

Chives can add a mild onion flavor to dishes and are known for their pretty purple flowers that also attract pollinators.

5. Cilantro

Ideal for salsa and Mexican dishes, cilantro can be a fun addition to taco nights.

6. Lavender

Known for its calming fragrance, lavender can be used in baking or crafting homemade sachets

7. Rosemary

With its woody scent, rosemary is great for cooking and crafting. It's also known to attract butterflies.

8. Thyme

Thyme offers a subtle flavor for dishes and requires minimal care, making it a low-maintenance option for busy families.

9. Oregano

Essential for Italian dishes, oregano is easy to grow and perennial in many climates.

Lemon Balm

Offering a refreshing citrus scent, lemon balm can be used in teas and salads, and it's known for its calming effects.

Simple Tips for Gardening with Kids

  1. Involve Them in the Planning – Let your children help choose which herbs they’d like to grow. This will make them feel invested in the project from the start.
  2. Use Container Gardening – If space is limited, consider container gardening. It’s manageable, and kids can easily see the progress of their plants.
  3. Assign Responsibilities – Give each child a specific task, such as watering or weeding, to teach them about responsibility and care.
  4. Make it Educational – Use the gardening time to teach your kids about the life cycle of plants, the importance of sunlight and water, and how herbs can be used in cooking.
  5. Harvest Together – When it’s time to harvest, make it a family activity. Discuss how each herb can be used and try cooking a simple dish together using your homegrown herbs.
  6. Keep it Fun – Remember, the goal is to have fun and enjoy time together as a family. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect. The experience is what truly matters.

Resources for Further Learning

To dive deeper into gardening with your kids, here are five resources that offer great tips and ideas:

  1. – A treasure trove of gardening activities, lesson plans, and tips for gardening with children of all ages.
  2. The National Gardening Association – Offers a range of articles and guides on gardening with kids, including how to start various types of gardens.
  3. Gardening with Children by BBC – Provides fun and educational gardening projects for families.
  4. My First Garden – University of Illinois Extension – A guide to gardening for kids, with step-by-step instructions on starting a garden.
  5. Family Food Garden – Offers advice on growing a family garden, with tips on involving kids in the gardening process.

Starting a herb garden with your kids is more than just a fun outdoor activity; it’s an opportunity to bond as a family, learn about nature, and cultivate life skills. By following these simple tips and exploring the resources provided, you can create a thriving herb garden that will provide both educational value and culinary delights for your family. So, grab a trowel, gather your little ones, and start gardening together!

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