This post originally ran in March 2007. I found it while looking for old posts on canning. I had forgotten what it was like to have little ones around when I was gardening. With my youngest turning 4 this year, I’m moving out of the toddler stage into the preschool and early elementary stage.
When my kids were this young, I worked hard on both my expectations and creating an environment where they could be part of the garden while certain areas were protected. We set up a dirt pile in the back which has been in use for about 7 years now. I stick to popular varieties of plants in my flower beds in case they get trampled or picked to death. I fence off the areas that need to be protected like our vegetable garden. I discuss the expectations and rules with my kids and visiting neighbor kids. I also answer questions and point out what I see like monarch butterflies and hummingbirds.
I had Munchkin, my three year old and Peanut, my eighteen month old out in the yard with me today while I worked on the flower beds. They both had their puddle jumpers on (think simple waterproof boots like Christopher Robin’s). Peanut is new to puddle jumpers and these come up to his knees. That didn’t stop him however, and it reminded me of the summer when Munchkin was almost two and got into everything in the garden.
My plan is to use wire fencing to separate the vegetable garden from the rest of the yard, even though that makes it difficult for my three year old to get to his vegetable bed. He may end up having the bed on the other side of the house next to the compost pile.
I will also need to clean up the dirt pile area so that the two little boys can dig to their heart’s content. It’s been my experience that little boys love digging in dirt and why not give them their own place to do it?A Life in Balance. Failure to link back and credit my site as a source constitutes a copyright violation. Thanks!