Herbs are easy to grow making them ideal for kids, first time gardeners and those without a lot of space in their gardens. Herbs smell beautiful, look interesting and taste amazing. Kids love picking, experimenting and playing with them so growing them is a great way to encourage kids to be outside, exploring their senses and having fun in the garden.
When choosing herbs to plant with children it is a good idea to pick varieties that will actually be used in the kitchen or during play. Popular choices among our Facebook followers and our personal favourites include basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, coriander, chives and dill.
Herbs grow easily in pots which means they can be started inside where the kids can keep a close eye on them and then moved outside once they are established. It’s a good idea to keep your herbs in pots to help contain them as some varieties, such as mint and thyme, can quickly take over your garden beds.
When your herbs are ready to pick encourage your children to:
- Rub the leaves between their fingers and then smell them. Rubbing the leaves helps release fragrance.
- Touch and feel the different textures. Encourage them to describe how each herb feels.
- Taste them. Encourage them to eat them fresh and also experiment with them in cooking.
Wondering what to do with the herbs you and the kids have grown? Here are some ideas:
- Mint is very refreshing in water. A leaf placed in a drink bottle of water is popular with many kids and makes a good alternative to juice and cordial.
- Basil goes well in kid-friendly favourites such as spaghetti and lasagne. It can also be made into pesto and makes a healthy dip for snack time.
- Parsley can be used to make an easy and nutritious tabouli for kids.
- Rosemary tastes beautiful with lamb and can also be used as a focus when talking about Remembrance Day
If you are thinking of starting a herb garden with your kids the very popular planeteco Herb Patch Kit has everything you need to start including organic seeds, biodegradable pots and a detailed grow guide. It is available in the Gardening 4 Kids shop for $24.95.
What herbs do your kids love?