Our Seed Starting Challenge was a lot of fun, and gave the children a chance to think about planting seeds and, maybe just as importantly, what we are planting those seeds in. Around our house, there was as much discussion about using recyclables instead of putting them in the blue bin as there was about the seeds that we were planting.
But, regardless of other side lessons learned, the real reason for the Seed Starting Challenge was to get kids planting seeds. So...
Why is seed starting with kids important?
You can buy seedlings already growing as a great way to start a garden with your family, but here at Beag, we would like to insist that growing plants from seeds is important for our littlest gardeners. Seed planting builds a connection between child and plant. The simple act of little fingers placing the seed into the soil becomes the bond that draws the child back to the garden through the entire (long) garden season.
There are other reasons for starting seeds too: seed planting is a really inexpensive activity that can be done with anyone of any age or with any abilities, it is one big science experiment that teaches all about the environment and food, and, anyone that plants a seed can feel a tremendous boost of pride when that little green shoot sticks it’s head up out of the soil.
But is there a right way to start seeds with kids?
I am going to be bold here and say yes.
Yes, there is definitely a right way to start seeds with kids: the very best and “right” way to start seeds with kids is to let them do it. Get your hands right in the soil along with them. Plant your own gardens if you must, but the very best way to start seeds with kids is any method or manner that gets soil under their fingernails and their hands dirty too.
Plant those seeds in any recyclable you wish, a beautiful pot, or even an ice cream cone, it really doesn’t matter the where’s and the how’s of the whole experience, just as long as little hands push little seeds wherever the soil happens to be.