Every year when spring rolls around our children are itching to put their homeschool books away and head outdoors. So we do.
However, the learning doesn’t stop just because we’re out in the sunshine. Instead, we turn to our summer homeschool schedule of outdoor lessons, including foraging, homesteading, nature studies, and of course, gardening.
Starting a small herb garden is a great introduction to gardening for kids because it can be done literally anywhere.
As long as your child is old enough to understand they shouldn’t eat any wild or garden-grown greenery before checking with mom, they’re ready to grow a herb garden.
(Note: our big list of 30 Foraging and Wildcrafting Freebies for Kids includes many herbal downloads and printables. You’ll find the link down at the bottom of the post.)
Here are five tips to get your children interested in growing herbs at home.
Herb Gardening for Kids: 5 Ways to Get Them Interested in Growing
#1. Garden where you are.
Don’t have a backyard? Start a herb container garden. Invest in a starter herb garden set, or start a low budget DIY garden pots project with older kids interested in upcycling.
Or assign a corner of your vegetable garden to your child and teach them how to plant a garden. Let them dig the soil, add compost, make garden decorations, and plant herb seeds on their own.
#2. Identify herbs and spices used in your cooking.
Yes, even if they’re dried and store-bought. Let them sniff the basil in your pasta sauce. Ask them to help crush the peppermint for your lemonade.
Show your children how to sprinkle parsley over your mashed potatoes. Then when you’re ready to try growing these popular herbs together, they’ll remember them.
#3. Try hydroponics.
That’s right– growing herbs in water. A bonus to herb gardening for kids without using soil is that you can grow them indoors, year-round, regardless of the season.
Try an Aerogarden unit, or even the traditional glass bottle method so you can see the roots growing. Or try a really simple seed germination lesson – all you need are herb seeds, water, and paper towels.
#4. Forage for herb seedlings to plant.
If you don’t have space or a budget to grow a herb garden with your kids in your back yard, try foraging. Head out to city parks or the nearby countryside.
Gather wild herbs like mint, garlic, and chamomile. Then try planting them. However, teach your children to respect park signs – if it says “Do not pick the greenery,” then don’t.
#5. Get creative about noticing herbs in all areas of life!
Got a child who loves music and poetry? Find all the songs that mention a herb.
History? Learn about the role of herbs and spices in trading and medicine.
Use your lavender or peppermint to make bath oil or foot lotion. Or try a free herb nature study, downloads and printables to round-out your lesson.
Herb gardening for kids doesn’t have to be complicated. Have fun, get a little messy, and learn alongside your children!
Turn herb gardening for kids into a fun learning experience with 30+ Free Herbal, Foraging & Wildcrafting Printables, Unit Studies & Downloads from An Off Grid Life. Grab them here!