Beep! Beep! Machines at Work
I'm ambivalent about cars. I appreciate the mobility, but don't like all the pavement and pollution. Trucks, construction equipment and other diesel-powered machines are especially dirty. But these days, drive around with me and you're likely to hear, "There's a Backhoe!" and "look at that excavator. Wow! That's a big one." Yes, I have a son.
He likes the garden. But nothing compares to his passion for trucks. So I've combined our interests with these dump truck activities:
- Transporting potting soil/compost around the garden. In the picture above, he's spreading a thin layer of dirt on top of some lettuce seeds, dropped around a newly transplanted tomato seedling.
- Mommy pulls weeds. He drives them to the compost bin. "The bugs eat them and make soil for our garden," he reminds me.
- Moving rocks and pebbles. Okay, this doesn't need to be done, but it keeps him busy while I work.
My son's little watering can is perfect for wetting seedlings. I also use his tiny trowels for transplanting. You can get kiddie gardening kits at toy stores and garden shops. I like our Pottery Barn set because the trowels and rake are more sturdy--they're metal and wood instead of plastic. The kit also included a spray bottle, which is a big hit.
Other garden activities for little kids
- Plant seeds. Pumpkins and melons are fun and easy
- Patrol garden, watch things growing
- Pick fruits and vegetables
- Pull weeds---maybe (If you think your kid can limit her grip to weeds and not pull plants you want to keep.)
- Observe butterflies, bees, and other bugs
- To support wildlife, garden with native plants
- Pick flowers (Be sure to plant some things you won't mind losing to your critter. I point my son at wildflowers that reseed vigorously, such as California poppy.)
- Buy and release store-bought lady bugs
- Grow and release painted lady butterflies
- Hang a bird feeder
- Maintain a bird bath
- Compost with worms. Your kid won't need a dog or a bunny; he'll have hundreds of pets. Stay tuned for a post on our Can 'O Worms.
Do you have a favorite gardening project for kids? Please share it.