Seed Starting Tips for Kids – Fall Gardens

clubsgreen living

Looking to get the kids more involved outdoors? Here are seed starting tips for kids to get them outside and learning right now! Gardening with kids is a great opportunity to teach them about a variety of subjects.

Not only can they learn how food grows and take responsibility for keeping something alive, but preparing a fall garden can also be a great opportunity to reinforce reading, writing, and fine motor skills. I'm sure your kids will enjoy planting a fall garden as much as mine!

Seed Starting Tips for Kids - fall gardens

Seed Starting Tips for Kids for Their Fall Gardens

Planting seeds for a fall garden is a pretty easy undertaking for kids of all ages. I haven't met a kid yet who doesn't like to play in the dirt and I know that kids of all ages will enjoy taking ownership of this project and watching their work literally bear fruit.

Seed Starting Tips for Kids - necessary supplies

Supplies needed for starting seeds with kids:

  • Good quality potting soil
  • Seeds {read which seeds work well for a fall garden here}
  • Containers to plant the seeds in {we used egg shells, toilet paper rolls, and containers from our recycle bin}
  • Water
  • Seed labels {we made our own with masking tape and toothpicks - popsicle sticks would also work well}
  • Seed tray and plastic cover

Seed Starting Tips for Kids

Find seed containers.

My kids love to hunt through our recyclables to find useful treasures for projects and starting seeds is great way to use up some of that trash! Useful (and free!) containers for starting seeds include:

  • empty fruit clam shells
  • toilet paper rolls
  • egg cartons
  • eggshells

If you use paper egg cartons, egg shells aren't necessary since the paper cartons can be planted directly into the soil once the seeds are ready, unlike styrofoam cartons. But I only had styrofoam cartons, so we used egg shell halves, too.

Seed Starting Tips for Kids - preparing the containers

Prepare seed containers.

Prepare seed containers simply by cutting the toilet paper rolls in half. There's no need to add a bottom to the TP rolls. Please them in an empty fruit clam shell. (It helps to cut the lid off if you want to put the whole thing in a seed starting tray - or you could skip the tray and leave the lid on, too!) For the eggshell containers, simply rinse eggshell halves and put them in the egg carton.

Seed Starting Tips for Kids - planting the seeds in the containers

Fill seed containers with potting soil and plant seeds.

I let my kids decide which seeds they wanted to plant from the select of fall hardy seeds that I pulled out of my seed organizer, and they filled their containers with wet potting soil. It's important that the soil is wet for better seed germination. 

They planted 2-3 seeds per each little container to give extras for better germinate. We will have to thin some of the seedlings later if they all grow, but I'd rather have too many seedlings than none at all! My kids planted cucumbers, peas, herbs, broccoli, kale, and cabbage.

Seed Starting Tips for Kids - making seed labels

Make seed labels.

We also made seed labels out of masking tape and toothpicks. Trust me that it's very important to label seed containers - it's hard to tell what some seedlings are... And making the labels was a great way to sneak in a bit of handwriting and spelling practice too. I made the labels for the younger kids, but the older kids enjoyed making their own. Well, there was a small amount of protest, but that's just life.

Seed Starting Tips for Kids - letting the seeds grow

Cover seeds and wait.

After they finished planting the seeds, we gave the seeds a small drink {most of the soil was pretty wet so we didn't need a lot of water}, put them in a seed starting tray, and covered them with the plastic lid. Make sure to keep the soil moist to encourage germination. A spray bottle works very well to give a small mist of water to your seedlings.

Now we wait. Once the seeds have germinated and have a couple sets of real leaves, we'll harden them off and plant them outside in the garden!

And that's all there is to seed starting with kids! Easy peasy and a good time for all. Have you started seeds with your kids before? What tips do you have?

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I’m Michelle and I blog over at Simplify, Live, Love. I live in rural Eastern Iowa with my husband, 4 kiddos, 17 chickens 3 rabbits, 1 dog, AND a cat. We are self employed crazies trying to balance it all and live sustainably at the same time. In addition to blogging, I garden, can, homeschool, and teach online community college classes too! Hop on over for more on our crazy life in Eastern Iowa.

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