Gardening & Yard Work Fun With Children.

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When we moved onto our four acres of property, I had an active three-year-old daughter and I was pregnant with our son.

Growing up with four siblings, we once roamed from house to house on top of our mountain in New Jersey. Traffic was minimal, and playing was everything. We had woods and streams, secret hide-outs, and shoddily-built tree forts. We had gardens and sheds, lawns and pools. We had quite the group of neighborhood friends, of all ages, and we had that exact childhood that you now see remembered in memes and photos. It was being called in for dinner when the streetlights went up. It was entire days spent on bikes, on hikes, in parks, and without limits. It was secret codes and secret hideaways. In fact, for tree services, you can check out https://www.thelocaltreeexperts.com/ok/broken-arrow/.

Today, things are different. People talk about how kids are glued to screens and are less active than from years past. Since we have four acres in New England, we see outdoors life as the norm. In the winter, we’re out there sledding and snowballing and caroling. When spring comes, all bets are off. We have earned our green lawn after 3-5 months of a snow & ice cover. The insects are buzzing, the birds are chirping, and the children are laughing & calling to each other from behind trees. Be sure to check out Lilydale Instant lawn for more information about instant turf suppliers in Melbourne.

I know that some kids live in more populated areas on or more populated streets. Some kids are city kids and some kids are country kids. What I also know is that there are always opportunities to get your kids outside and learning the land, and you don’t need to have a big yard to do so. In fact, we only use a small part of our land. Most of it is woods, marshes or our long and winding driveway to the street. We inherited our garden from the house’s previous owners and we have big plans for our lawn and garden this spring. We will be using pallets for our now 150+ strawberry plants and we will be working more on Scarlet’s fairy garden. We will place more planters with flowers in the yard, work on more herbs, and plant baby apple trees.

This is Massachusetts, after all.

Cassidy is amazing with gardening and yard work. I am often shut inside with a book or a computer or.. let’s be honest here.. a nice snack and some air-conditioning. Over time I’ve realized that it’s more fun and beneficial to him to have help. Scarlet will rake leaves, plant seeds, harvest fruits and vegetables, plant trees, and do some light landscape design. Des is learning the ropes. So am I, actually. So I made a list of how to make yard work and gardening a family activity, and not a solo one:

Yard work is a necessary and enjoyable activity for a family. Just think about raking leaves with your parents as a kid, and then jumping into a crisp pile of them! Do you remember the first time you shoveled snow or planted seeds? I do!

1. Start them young! We gardened a bit in our old house too. We didn’t have as much land, but we made a small garden. The only life Scarlet and Des know, is a life with a lot of fun outdoors chores once March comes along.

2. Assign chores. Scarlet is pretty adept at the “big kid” chores, like raking, planting and harvesting, but Des is actually quite good at digging holes in the dirt where she plants. It makes him feel important, and it’s fun.

3. Explain the meaning. We’re lucky to live in such a lush, green part of the world, however, lawn care and gardening are year-round jobs. It helps us when our kids know how and why grass and plants grow and what they need to do so.

4. Let them have a voice. What’s been Scarlet’s favorite part of learning to do yard work with us? Letting her choose at least some of the flowers, plants and foods we use gets her more interested in the whole process.

5. Get them their own gear. Depending on the age(s) of your children, you will be able to choose the right yard tools. Ones made for kids are safer than regular ones. They will still look and work like ours. The tools should have no choking hazards if your children are young. They should be light enough to be used with ease, but sturdy enough to last. The handles should have good grips for kids. You can also invest in kid-sized gardening gloves.

6. Keep it simple and fun. One way to get yard work done as a family, is to choose tasks that will keep children interested. What we like to do is assign all four of us a task, and then take a break after 15-30 minutes to run around and have fun. Then we return to the chore, even more energized than before. Fun breaks include running through the sprinkler, or the swings.

7. Reap the rewards! What’s better than enjoying fruit off of vines you grew yourself? Lawn care can offer the same satisfaction. Lawns hold our gardens, our trees, our pond and everything else that delights my children. We love to enjoy our lawn, so we take care of it with Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed. We get it at Walmart in the separate garden center:

It will cover up to 5,000 square feet and helps you rid your lawn of the weeds you see, and will thicken your grass to crowd out the ones you don’t. Looking for specific information for how Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed can help solve your lawn problems? Click here to sign up for the Scotts’ email reminder service to receive specific tips and information for your area!

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Do you do yard work with your kids?

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54 Comments

  1. Love this post Tamara! We’re huge gardening fans. I have the fondest memories of vegetable gardening with my grandfather when I was little. Planting a teeny tiny seed, and growing into an incredible fruitful plant was magical! I couldn’t understand why the same thing couldn’t work with pennies (I still don’t). The kids and I enjoy hours of fun working on our little crops. Love sharing that magical knowledge with them.

    1. I specifically remember peas! In my little toddler fingers! Ah, that was fun. Although why didn’t the pennies grow into penny trees?? I’m still wondering.

  2. I love that you have so many acres of land to enjoy with the family. What an incredible feeling that must be to watch the lawn and wildlife through every season and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Your pictures are delicious and they make me want to dig my hands in the earth and plant seeds 🙂

    XOXO

    1. Same here! Although I’m not much of a gardener in the long run. I start to daydream and then I need to go pick up a book! Or I wound up yelling bad words at bugs.

  3. What great advice and seriously sad though as I totally have a black thumb so I am not much of a gardner, but still when I do try will have to heed your tips at the very least here for my girls now 😉

    1. I think I have the potential to do it, but I’m so neurotic that I’d take it personally if things I planted alone were destroyed by bad weather or animals! It happens too!

  4. T actually loves to help pull weeds. She’s already asking to do it in our gardens, and now that the weather’s getting to be in the 60s, I’m excited to let her help out! So many strawberry bushes sounds just lovely. And what a wonderful idea to let the kids help pick out which flowers to plant!

    1. Scarlet always chooses flowers with her name on them! Scarlet Begonias is a big one.
      It’s almost 60 today and feels so wonderful. Tomorrow is supposed to be 73! I can’t imagine what that feels like up here.

  5. I wuld love to live on a large property like yours. We just purchased a home in the Chicago suburbs and our yard is much smaller. But we have a corner lot, so it’s bigger than most of our neighbor’s yards. My kids love helping out in the yard too. I love this time of year.

    1. Is this a more recent home than the last one? Or is this still the home you bought after living west? There are definitely pros and cons to having so much land.

      1. We just purchased this home last June. We’ve been in this town since 2014 and love it. When we first moved from Spokane, WA to Chicago we rented for a year. I am looking forward to finally having my own yard, so I can landscape it the way I want and plant a garden this spring.

  6. We have a mini garden patch area nearby but definitely don’t take advantage of that. Lol. We started buuuut then life happens and we all get ADD. Love the photos!! Your garden definitely is gorgeous 🙂 Have a great one Tam Tam! -Iva

  7. My daughter has shown some interest in gardening, but I’ve never pursued it with any seriousness. I need to reconsider this notion after reading this post. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. I love playing and working in the yard with my children! Doing both teaches them some important skills and being ourside really is the best! I like your spring yard plans. We are doing a fairy garden too 🙂

  9. Science has finally proven that it’s healthier to play in a little dirt, lol

    Yeah, kids that are kept too clean never develop as good an immune system. Fortunately, even though my mom was a clean freak, she couldn’t see me when I ventured off to play.

    1. Yes! I used to think I was a city girl, but I grew up completely the opposite. I need land and mountains and moose and parks and strawberries. Lots of them.

  10. I love working in the yard and growing things, but I’m terrible about it. I wish we had a better place put a garden, but for now we container garden in the front yard.

  11. I totally love gardening and can’t wait to get started again. Of course, it is a summer-long struggle against the chipmunks, deer, bugs, bunnies and birds… but I still feel a sense of joy when I can pick a tomato!

  12. My hubby does most of the gardening in the spring but this is a great idea to get the kids involved! Spring is coming. I’m crazy excited.

  13. I’m so jealous of your garden space! I remember when you told me Scarlet has her own special plot in the garden to experiment however way she likes. Such an awesome experience for them to be outdoors.

    1. Yes! Scarlet has a few little spaces all to herself. She still needs some guidance on care, but definitely makes all the design decisions.

  14. Eve is such a city kid! But, she still has opportunities to learn about nature and gardening and how food grows. Last summer she helped me plant some seeds and pick tomatoes and kale (we then would use the kale to make smoothies!) I want to look into her getting her own tools this year, I think she’d love that. And this reminds me that we need to get our seedlings started soon 🙂

  15. I am in love with your garden and backyard space Tamara. Such a nice open space! Can I come and see it when I come and visit you one day?

  16. Both my my kids rake and also help garden by watering and weeding. They enjoy outdoor chores way more than inside chores 🙂

  17. Um no. I admire flowers, beautiful landscaping etc, but I do all my beautifying inside of the house. I remember when Christopher was little just for something to do we went out and raked leaves into piles he could play in but that would be the extent of me participating. I’m you staying inside with the ac. I’ll bring out the water and/or lemonade. I LOVE the first picture of Scarlet with the smudge of dirt on her nose.

    1. That’s one of my favorite Scarlet photos of all time!
      And you’re making me laugh. Usually I’m the one who’s horrified by this stuff, but last year we grew so many strawberries that someone had to stay on top of it. Do you remember that from Facebook? We were hemorrhaging strawberries.

  18. I come from a long line of farmers and I cannot imagine being out in the dirk as soon as the ground thaws. My garden is my summer oasis. I feed it and it feeds my soul. If I could have fields of flowers, I would. Unfortunately due to our huge tree I don’t get enough sun to grow vegetables…. plus our soil is crap. I definitely use Scott’s products and even bags and bags and bags seem no match for the tree roots that keep invading, and the tough clay base. I had to finally dig down about 2 feet and refill with good soil.
    The kids definitely love being in the backyard with me… especially since my garden draws birds and butterflies and even the odd neighborhood cat. They each have their own garden area too, and come with me each year to pick out some flowers to plant. Or we will start from seeds in Spring too. That keeps them interested in the process.
    I think this year I will finally do that herb garden in a pot on the deck where the sun shines the most.

  19. I can say we have the same childhood! Mountaind, woods, rivers, and streams. I can’t say it’s the same for Reiko although he does go out from time to time. I really wish the weather here isn’t too hot so we can stay outside longer. My parents recently got a farm land an hour away from our house where we can plant more.

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