If you’re teleworking like we are, keeping the little ones entertained while getting everything checked off on your weekly “to do” list can seem impossible. In this special edition, we explore all the fun ways you can include your little ones in your gardening activities.
For parents struggling to find engaging ways to keep children busy and entertained gardening is a great activity to introduce to your kids while you are home. Gardening does not require advanced skill, the perfect raised bed, or a sprawling backyard. Gardening with kids can be as simple as planting seeds in a container (or starting seeds inside) or by reading them a garden-themed children’s book. There countless garden-themed children’s books that work for children of all ages. We discussed some of our all-time favorite books and fun activities to go along with them. The wonder of planting a garden and watching it grow can spark endless questions from your kids. Questions like: Why do plants need the sun to grow? Why are worms in the garden? How do plants “drink” water? Before you know it, you will be talking about soil, compost, and photosynthesis!
We also discussed the Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) and its invasive tendencies. You will hear the name Callery and Bradford used interchangeably, however, ‘Bradford’ was the name of the first cultivar of Callery pear but is often used to refer to the species. Many beautiful native alternatives benefit our birds and butterflies. Visit the UME-Home and Garden Information Center if you would like more information about the Bradford Pear. For more information about Maryland Invasive Plants Prevention and Control visit the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
Children’s Gardening Books:
- The Bad Seed, by Jory John
- Monsters don’t eat broccoli by Barbara Jean Hick
- Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
- Up Down & Around by Katherine Ayres
- I will never not ever eat a tomato by Lauren Child
- Wiggly Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer
- Velma Gratch and the way cool butterfly by Alan Madison and Kevin Hawkes
- Gardening With Children, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Guide (for activities)
- Tree, by Britta Teckentrup (a Fletcher favorite)
Gardening with Kids
The Garden in a Glove activity can be found here.
Callery Pear: (~21:15)
Native Plant of the Month: “Pinxterbloom Azalea”, or Rhododendron periclymenoides (~25:45)
Bug of the Month: Eastern tent caterpillars (~29:45)
If you have a garden question or topic you like us to talk about you can email us at Gardenhoespodcast@gmail.com
For more information about University of Maryland Extension and these topics, please check out the Home and Garden Information Center website at https://extension.umd.edu/hgic
The Garden Hoes Podcast is brought to you by the University of Maryland Extension. Mikaela Boley- Senior Agent Assoc. (Talbot Co.) for Horticulture, Rachel Rhodes- Agent Assoc. for Horticulture (QA Co), and Emily Zobel- Agriculture Agent (Dorchester Co.).