Giving Kids a Green Thumb: Watching the Seedlings Grow!

See the whole "Giving Kids a Green Thumb" Series!

It’s now officially spring, which means that even though it might not look so sunny outside, those seeds you just planted indoors are now sprouting! And in a few short months, you’ll be devouring the fruits and vegetables that these little plants produce. But for now, spend some time and nurture your child’s interest in the plants by involving them every step of the way! Here are some tips for the next phase of gardening with kids.

Watering the Plants

The easiest way to involve your child is to teach them how to water the seedlings. Take a small plastic water or drink bottle and poke holes in the top of the cap. Then fill it with water and keep it close to the plants. Pick a consistent time to water, perhaps after breakfast or before dinner, and help your child water all of the seedlings well. If some extra help is needed, then you can pick up where they left off and finish the job. They’ll love knowing that it’s their water that’s making everything grow!

Keeping a Plant Journal

Another great way for kids to keep track of what’s going on is to start a plant journal. Take one of the little seedlings out of the growing tray, and have them draw a picture of what it looks like.


Help them identify how many stems are growing and how many leaves are on each stem. For younger kids, it’s a great way to help them practice their writing. For older kids, you can help them label the specific parts of the plant and expand their vocabulary.

Giving Them Some Sun


When your seedlings are a few weeks old, you’ll want to give them a bit of time outdoors each day in natural light and expose them to the elements. Have your child take on this task of taking them outside (with help, perhaps) and bringing them in. You can set a timer, or have them use their clock knowledge to know what time everything needs to happen.

Preparing the Garden Outside

Finally, you’ll want to start seriously planning where these plants will end up outside. If you’re planning a garden bed, then involve your kids in going to the store and preparing the soil for the bed. If they’re going straight into the garden, buy them their own trowel and garden gloves, and help them ready the planting area by digging holes. Giving kids permission to get dirty in the garden is one of the best gifts any parent can give!

Now all you’re waiting for is the “optimal time to plant” depending on where you live! That’s the day when you can safely put those seedlings in the ground and wait for summer to arrive! 

See the whole "Giving Kids a Green Thumb" Series!