If you're looking for a way to get your preschooler away from the television and tablet screens and into the sunshine this summer, a gardening project can provide a fun and educational diversion. Most preschool-aged children are able to understand the basic concepts behind plant growth, from the initial planting of the seed to the adding of water and sunlight that causes it to germinate. As you and your child tend to this garden, you'll enjoy bonding time while making your yard a more attractive place (and in some cases, even generating vegetables or herbs your child can help you use to prepare dinner). However, some plants are better suited for a preschool gardener than others. Read on for some of the hardy and attractive plants and flowers that could be perfect for your (and your child's) new garden.
Sunflowers can be a perfect starter plant for your child, as they fulfill several key factors: they're incredibly hardy, fast-growing, large, and beautiful. Because these flowers sprout and grow so quickly, they're ideal for impatient children who can't wait weeks to see the fruits of their labors. Your child will enjoy watching these flowers incrementally turn themselves to follow the sun on its path across the sky. And as a bonus, these flowers generate a tremendous amount of sunflower seeds, which you and your child may opt to roast and eat or use to generate even more sunflowers.
Even if your child isn't a fan of eating tomatoes, he or she may enjoy growing them -- and because tomato plants can thrive in just about any condition, you won't need to worry about your child harming the plant or making any missteps in the growing process. Watching the plant blossom and then observing the tomatoes grow and ripen can also be entertaining for young children, and preparing a meal with the harvested tomatoes can be a great way for you and your child to conclude your weeks of work.
Pumpkins or gourds
These fast-growing vines can produce multiple pumpkins or gourds over the course of the growing season, and require little in the way of special care. The fun of growing pumpkins or gourds also doesn't end when these vegetables are harvested, as you and your child will be able to cook and eat them, carve them, or even dry them and use them to create birdhouses or other crafts.
If you're interested in nursery plants to get your garden started, check with places like Bob Williams Nursery Inc.