Married 17 years to my accountant, keyboard playing husband. Mother to one clever 13 year old boy and two brilliant girls age 10 and 6. My third appendage is my laptop as I manage and edit my online lifestyle magazine for Southern Utah --aliveutah.com and my food blog -- Pantry Eats. I love to write about parenting, food, exploring and home and garden. I am also a gardener, a semi-decent cook (I learned to cook so late in life) a voracious reader and, like all moms, an accomplished chauffeur.

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Growing Little Gardeners

Gardening is my personal nirvana. I need to be growing something green. I inherited my love of gardening from my Dad. He finds joy in his garden too, and I am grateful for this heritage he has given me. When my days are hardest I find that I can relieve my anxiety by spending an hour or so digging and gardening.  Fortunately, my youngest has inherited my love of fresh dirt and growing things. Some days she even thinks weeding is fun. She loves to join me in the garden, weeding, watering, planting seeds, watching butterflies emerge from their cocoons and she loves to eat her harvest.

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I do have two children who could care less about gardening. I still make them weed and water and clean up the yard. It makes for good work habits I say.

But because I know that growing and gardening has such lifelong benefits I encourage my littlest gardener. I am growing something other than plants when she joins me in my little greenhouse or flowerbeds. Here are a few tips and fun ideas for growing your little gardeners.

1. Make it a date: Invite your child to join you and talk to you and share their day. Give your undivided listening ear to your child.

2. Give them a gardening space: My daughters have their own flower patch and every year my daughters get to pick out a flower they want to plant in their space. It is exciting for that child to watch and design their own space.

3. Don’t be afraid of getting dirty: My daughter’s comment to me when I asked if she wanted gloves as she planted pansies. “This is my favorite part, getting my hands dirty.” Of course it is.

Here are a few fun ideas to make gardening an adventure for your child.

Create A Fairy Garden

photo by Karynn Jorgensen for aliveutah.com

photo by Karynn Jorgensen for aliveutah.com

Get some fun fairy ideas here.

Best kid veggie garden idea via notjustahousewife.net

Awesome Treasure Hunt Idea

via Nurture Store Gardening Activities

kids gardening activities chalk

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