8. Plant a Garden
This year our family took seeds and started them inside on a plant stand that we built. The plans for the stand came from Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening and Landscaping Techniques, a book that not only covers starting plants from seed, but also planning and planting a garden. You don’t need a plant stand to start your own seeds. You can use a window sill and achieve results also.
We made our children a part of our garden from the very moment the seed packet was opened until the first vegetables were harvested and served. They were so excited when the plants first popped through the soil. They took ownership of the plants and wanted to be the one to plant them in the garden. They were even given their own section, which they weeded and watered. And they had fun doing it.
If you don’t have a yard where you can plant a garden, try planting a container garden. Rather than starting seeds in boxes designed for transplanting, plant them in a terra cotta pot and place on your front steps or walk. You can still get quite a few vegetables out of containerized plants.
It doesn’t have to be a veggie garden, though. Maybe plant a flower garden or a shade garden. Visit greenhouses and look at all the different plants. Go to arboretums and see what your kids like. Take time to walk around the neighborhood and see what the neighbors have planted. Visit with them about their flower beds. Maybe you can start trading plants with them when it’s time to split a plant that’s grown too large.
This will help your children take more pride in their home and maybe, just maybe, motivate them to keep the yard clean, too.