Gardening With Babies and Toddlers

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Kids love to be involved in everything we do (well my kids do anyway!!). This includes gardening of course!!

My first year of gardening with a toddler was a nightmare. He was a year old and into EVERYTHING!!

Of course I wanted him out in the garden with me. Hands in the dirt. Learning about healthy food that we created. That was how I was raised and it was lovely. This was the golden vision that I had in my mind.

Instead I had a toddler eating dirt (and I don’t mean in healthy amounts), pulling up plants that I just planted, screaming the second I left his side, and me,essentially not being productive in any way. Not quite that golden vision that I had in my mind.

So last year I vowed to make it easier. We were going to enjoy gardening and I was going to get stuff done!!

The first thing we did was make him his own bed. This was officially Mr. Precious’s garden box and he could plant and do whatever he wanted in it. We took this same approach early on with cupboards in our house and have never had an issue with him getting into the cupboards!! He has his own that he keeps his “cooking” stuff in and he sticks to that. So he liked this idea of his own box from the beginning. He grew carrots, and radishes in his box (at least that is what survived). There weren’t many because he enjoyed “tilling” the soil more than patiently waiting for the veggies to grow. But that didn’t matter. What mattered most was that he was outside!! Digging, learning, and growing in the garden. Just like I had always envisioned.

The second thing we did was get him his own garden tools. He now has more than I do!! He especially loves his lawn mower. Something that he affectionately calls his Babalo. Don’t ask me why. We have never figured out how he got Babalo from lawn mower but I will soak up every second that he calls it that. I’m sure a lot of people will cringe that I don’t correct it but I will miss it so much someday!!

This year is a little different. We took over his garden bed and have our onions and garlic in it. He is totally fine with this because our garlic is growing like crazy and he thinks it’s really cool.

We have given him his own wooden pot to grow  perennial flowers in and we are moving our strawberries to an “official” patch. Our mini homestead is constantly growing so he will always have new things to work with.

This year is also different because we have another baby. Mr. Blue Eyes is incredibly adventurous and wants to be down in the dirt (literally) doing everything his big brother is doing. This is a problem because it means he refuses to sit in anything that confines him for longer than 5 minutes. He is crawling now too so that means I can’t just put him on a blanket in the grass. He is off the blanket and eating handfuls of weeds in a matter of seconds (why do my kids like eating the outdoors so much?).

So I do what I do with everything else. I either carry him or I babywear him in the Ergo. We babywear a lot in this house so he is comfortable with this. I don’t know how much longer we will last before he wants to be on the ground!!

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In the end we will adapt. That’s what parenthood is all about isn’t it? There is something beautiful about the learning process of raising children.

I look forward to sharing more of our learning process with toddlers and babies in the garden, this summer!!

So how about you?? Do you let your Babies garden with you? If so do you have any tips to share??

Thanks and have a Great Day!!

Emily

Photo Credit Curtosy of Babble

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