Growing plants and vegetables
Watching plants grow – then eating them – are simple but fun activities. You won’t even need lots or space (or money) to get started.
Things to try
- Start simple. Cress, chives or mint grow quickly indoors: ask your child to put a piece of cotton wool into the bottom of a yoghurt pot, add some water, and sprinkle the seeds on top. Encourage them to put the pot somewhere with plenty of light, and in a short time they will have edible treats they grew themselves.
- If you have a flower bed, consider letting your child use part of it as their vegetable patch. Plants that grow underground, like potatoes and carrots, can be especially exciting, as your child won’t be able to see them until they dig them out of the ground.
- Runner beans and tomatoes can be grown in pots, or a grow bag, so don’t worry if you don’t have a garden. Tomato plants can be grown from seed, or, if your child can’t wait to see them, already in pots (around £1 from your local market).
- Sunflower seeds are great fun to grow – and your child will be amazed that a plant that’s taller than them can come from such a small seed!
- All plants need watering, so show your little one how to fill a watering can, carry it carefully, and water the plants. If they’re growing plants indoors, a small jug or a spray bottle may be more practical!
For more advice on growing and gardening with children, visit Mr Bloom’s Nursery on the BBC website.
What they’ll learn
- Talking about parts of the plants as they grow, bulb, roots, stem, bud, leaf and flower will develop your child’s language skills.
- Watching plants grow, measuring them, and using words like ‘taller’ and ‘bigger’ add to their maths skills.
- Talking about what’s happening to plants and vegetables as they change supports your child’s understanding of growth and development.
- Digging, handling seeds, picking vegetables, and caring for living things helps their personal, social, and emotional development.