We are fortunate to have two lovely boys that thouroughly enjoy spending time outside. The backyard has come a long way since moving into the house just over 3 years ago. Raised garden beds, fresh soil, and a bigger chicken coop are a few of the improvments. Not bad while caring for our very busy boys. Ben is 3 this October, and his love for the outdoors is a beautiful thing! I have a feeling Cole, who just turned 1 will be exactly like his big brother!
At a young age we have involved Ben with our gardening. He helps water, plant seeds and harvest. Adam and I both agreed having him involved was important. Start young and teach him the benefits of healthy eating and where food comes from. Early this spring we had him suit up in his Muddy Buddy (a waterproof suit) and head for the backyard. He helped Adam fill starter trays with soil, plant seeds, water and then care for them as they grew in the greenhouse. When it came time to planting out the seedlings he gladly moved them around the yard in his wheelbarrow, handing a seedling to us when we were ready to plant. Yes, he has a wheelbarrow of his own. He has Mommy’s from when she was little and was just recently given a wheelbarrow by a neighbor as she knows how often he is in the yard with us.
This year he planted a variety of seeds, including a few he recieved free at Seedy Saturday. (We highly recommend checking this event out if you live in Victoria, B.C.) He often helps one of us water but I believe his favorite job is picking the fruit and vegetables. His favorites this year have been the strawberries, tayberries, raspberries and peas! Another one of Ben’s favorite jobs is to check the chicken coop for eggs. When Adam built a bigger coop he added a laying box at the back that is just the perfect height for Ben to lift the lid and peek in to see if any of our girls have laid an egg. He is always thrilled when he discovers one. Then insists on bringing them inside to put in the carton. His love for collecting the eggs has encouraged him to practice his counting skills too, as he always counts all the eggs in the carton before putting it back into the fridge.
If you are interested in growing fruits and vegetables with your kids, check out “My top 5 picks for Veggies to grow with kids” post.