If you’re looking for a project for you and your child to enjoy together, an indoor herb garden is a great idea. The garden can be kept indoors and is easy to maintain. Since the herbs will be used frequently by all cooks in the home, it will give your child a sense of responsibility and pride. Here are some ideas for your child’s first indoor herb garden.
Teach Your Child the Three Herb Categories
Before selecting the herb, your first consideration will be the type of herb you want to plant. There are three herb categories just as with other plants: annuals, biennials, and perennials. The annuals usually thrive in the spring and die towards the fall. Perennials can stay alive all year long and grow back each year. Biennials actually produce flowers, generating seeds in its second year. They then will die.
For young children who may not take too kindly to their garden dying out, perennials or biennials may be best for them. But you can do a mixture of all of these for a continuous garden all year round. Basil and Dill are annuals. Parsley and Clary Sage are biennials. Sage, Thyme, Bay, Chives, Lemon Balm, and Lavender are perennials.
Determine a Theme
Children will find gardening fun if you give your project a theme. Maybe choose a story, food, or one of the five senses as the theme. Here are some theme ideas:
– This story is a classic. If your child knows and loves it, try growing herbs that are mentioned in the story like hyssop, sage, or tansy.
– Create a garden that will help season their favorite Italian foods like pizza and spaghetti. They can plant herbs such as oregano and parsley. It’s a way for them to help make pizza without being exposed to dangers in the kitchen.
– Certain herbs carry an aroma you just want to sniff all day. The strongest and most terrific smelling herbs are basil, lavender, lemon balm, and mint.
Reap What You Sow
Now that you’ve chosen a theme, let your little one help you prepare the soil and plant their herbs. Preparing the soil might be your kid’s favorite part of this garden. Provide them with small garden tools like a fork or trowel so they can loosen the soil in the pot. Ensure they understand their job of watering their herb garden and making sure it gets proper sunlight.
Once it’s time to harvest, explain the processes of using them fresh and dried. Many people also chop the herbs and freeze them with water in ice cube trays. Dried herbs make great project ideas for kids as well. They may love studying the process of placing them in bundles with rubber bands or ribbon to keep them together.
Gardening can be a fun way to teach children how to produce their own natural ingredients. This will introduce them to responsibility and living a healthy life. Since many people do love fresh herbs, your child can deliver a few tiny bundles as excellent “Just Because” gifts.