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Looking for a way to connect your kids or grandkids with nature? We have ideas here.

Outdoor Gardening

Gardening with your children is rewarding — encouraging discovery and nurturing nature. Consider container gardening if space is limited or if it's the wrong season for outdoor gardening. Here's how to start.

Preparation: Gather some gardening books and seed and plant catalogs. Talk to your children about the kind of container garden they want: Is it a make-believe landscape, a single plant or a food garden? Have pictures of plants as examples and have materials – such as soils, watering cans and pots – ready for gardening.

Safety: Learn about toxic plants and ingredients in soil mixes so you can make good choices. Also consider age-appropriate activities.

Make it fun: Find ways to involve everyone, including children of different ages. Be creative with containers—thinks of empty coffee cans, out-grown shoes, even Dad's old fishing hat! Decorate your container before planting and drill a few holes for drainage. You can decide whether to start with grown plants or fast-germinating seeds. Gardening with your child is a growing experience, a living memory that you can share as you continue to help your child make direct connections with nature.

— Stephen Brueggerhoff, former Wildflower Center Public Programs Manager

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