Gardening is an activity you can enjoy with your child from toddlerhood on. Children learn best by doing, so to teach your child how to plant a flower, plan on allowing him to do most of the work involved. He may make a mess, but the experience will be invaluable in teaching your little gardener about the life cycle of a plant, where flowers come from and what plants need to grow. Choose an easy-to-grow flower variety, such as sunflowers or morning glory, suggests Redwood Barn Nursery. Start with several seeds in case some don't grow to avoid disappointment.
Gather all of the supplies necessary ahead of time and explain each one to your child. Show her the seeds, and let her know that all of the food the flower needs is inside. Explain that plants need soil, water, sun and air to grow.
Allow your child to fill the flower pots or the sections of an egg carton with soil. Have him poke a hole in the center of each pile of dirt with his finger and drop in one or two seeds, and then cover over the seed with the soil.
Show your child how to tilt the watering can to water the flower seeds without spilling the water. Have her put the flower pots in a sunny window.
Have him check each day to see whether a sprout is emerging. Depending on the variety of flower, this may happen in a few days. Continue to sprinkle with water each day, taking care not to allow the soil to get flooded.
Ask your child to help you transfer the seedlings outside after a few days if the danger of frost has passed in your area. While protection from the elements and insects is helpful immediately after the seeds sprout, the seedlings need the fresh air and sun that is amply available outside, explains the Redwood Barn Nursery. Have her dig a hole with a trowel while you carefully move each fragile seedling. Allow her to pat down the dirt and water the flowers.
Continue encouraging your child to care for his plants. He may enjoy drawing a picture each day of what his flowers look like as the days go on. If your child is around age 8 or older, he may be interested in looking up what types of insects are dangerous to his plants, suggests Jo R. Frederiksen, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Master Gardener.
Things You Will Need
- Flower seeds
- Egg carton or small flowerpots
- Potting soil or soil from your yard
- Watering can
Don't get upset if your child is more interested in the process of planting a flower than the product of actually having a flower in the end, suggests KidsGardening.org. Young children may lose interest after the fun of poking and watering the dirt is over. This is age-appropriate and will still teach your child something about the process of gardening.