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5 Easy Plants for Kids to Grow on Their Own!

child holding plant

There’s nothing better than growing your own produce! Not only do you avoid possible pesticides, but growing your own veggies is a fantastic learning experience for kids as young as two or three. 

KinderCare nutritionist Courtney Hines says, “Gardening is a valuable teaching tool for young children. The combination of hands-on learning and team-building exercises that come from working with others—parents, siblings, friends—to create a garden is a unique opportunity that provides experiential education beyond the classroom.”

The act of gardening shows kids where food comes from, teaches them responsibility and patience, and the opportunity to work with their hands. (Plus, did you know that kids are much more likely to eat veggies if they had a hand in the growing process?)

Plus, it’s just plain fun to watch a plant grow from a tiny seed! And don't worry if the spring weather in your area isn't quite warm enough yet. Start your plants indoors until it's warm again, and then move them outdoors. 

Here are five easy plants to get kids gardening early:

1. Leafy greens

Healthy and beautiful salad greens are easy plants for kids to grow! Think arugula, mizuna, spinach, or romaine. The time between planting and harvest is so short, most can be grown in just a few short weeks.
 
2. Carrots

These shy orange cuties are fun plants for kids because their green shoots grow quickly while their sweet roots stay hidden for a few weeks. That first glimpse of orange is sure to surprise them!

3. Radishes

Many radish varieties will grow roots big enough to eat in just 21 days! Remember: One radish seed will grow into a single radish, not a cluster, so plant accordingly. Choose sweet, kid-friendly varieties like Hailstone or Daikon. If your child doesn’t care much for veggies in the first place, we suggest serving them cooked rather than raw for a smoother flavor. 

4. Basil

This fragrant staple can be grown indoors or out! If you’re planning to use your basil to make a big batch of pesto for pasta night , make sure to grow several plants. If you only have room for a few, use the basil for seasoning instead, or have your child harvest individual leaves when you need them for a stir-fry or snack kabobs.

5. Strawberries

With their short roots, strawberries are an easy, kid-friendly plant for pots—and your little one will love eating the fruits of their labor! There’s a ton of ways you can incorporate this little  berry into your mealtime rotation.