Gardening with Kids

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Story and Photos by Amanda Causey Baity

My family loves fresh veggies and fruits that we get from our local Farmers Markets. Upon moving to our new farm in Manassas, we decided that a garden was a must. Fortunately, there was already a large area completely fenced where we could get started. We have loved deciding what to plant and mapping out the area on paper and making those plans a reality. The excitement of seeing the first sprouts popping up was fun for the kids, but I know their favorite part will be picking their vegetables and then helping me prepare a meal with them.

Plant Markersplant marker small
Varying sizes of sturdy twigs
Pocket knife
Craft paint
Permanent marker

1. Use your pocket knife to carve a pointed “hat” at the top of one end of a twig. Just keep whittling away until you end up with a pointed triangle. It doesn’t have to be super smooth.

2. Carve a rounded, flat “face” on one side of the twig. Vary the size of the faces on the different twigs to give each one character unless you want them all uniformed.plant marker large

3. Carve a rounded, flat area on the bottom part of the stick (just like the face, but in the opposite direction). Write the names of your plants here. If you have veggies or fruits with long names (like “cucumbers” or “strawberries”), make sure to use a few longer sticks and carve appropriately.

4. Paint your gnomes’ hats and beards in any color you desire! If you use all red hats/white beards, you will end up with Santa Claus look-a-likes so mix things up. You can even match the hat to the colors of your veggies and fruits.

5. Let dry completely. If your twigs don’t stand up on their own, poke holes in the bottom of a cardboard box so they can dry without smearing the paint.pepper marker

6. After your twigs are completely dry, write the veggie names onto the bottom part of the twigs with a permanent marker. If you mess up, you can always whittle away the top layer and start fresh.

7. Dig a small hole near the corresponding plant and enjoy your new garden friends.

Not only is gardening a wonderful outdoor activity you can do together, but gardening with kids helps them understand where our food comes from and how it grows.

Amanda Causey Baity, ( Prince William Living’s marketing director and photo
editor, also blogs about thrifty family activities on her blog


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