I am a member of the Everywhere Society, and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

My daughter has probably made more meals in her two years on earth than I have over the course of my entire life. Albeit, her food is plastic, wooden or invisible. Each day, she pretends to be a waitress, scribbles down my order  with a crayon and whips up imaginary cuisines in her kid kitchen. Recently, we visited the science center, and she spent most of her time playing in an interactive garden–not a surprise!

Toddler Gardening

At first, I thought I could never grow the real deal at home. Pretend play would satisfy my daughter’s hunger for gardening and cooking. I’m not very domestic. Heck, I almost failed middle school sewing, and I’ve never grown antyhin in my life–unless you count transferring red roses into a crystal vase. Then I met Lisa King, the  star of Great American Country’s reality TV show Farm Kings. She told me I didn’t have to be a farmer to be a gardener. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even need a backyard! Lisa shared her ideas on her to green your home and office recently at Macy’s Flower Show. I pulled her aside to find out how a Girl Scout drop out like me could take up gardening as a mother and daughter hobby.

Here’s are her four tips for gardening with toddlers.

Farm Kings

Start Small

You can grow anything on the windowsill. Start small with fun foods and flowers that sprout up in a few days. Perhaps plant sunflower seeds or herbs. Or even grass, which can be used to decorate with Easter eggs.

Plant Dinner

Carrots, beats and sugar snap peas are great crops to introduce your child to healthy eating and sustainable living. Growing your own garden is also a great way to get your child to eat his vegetables. Kids can till the soil and water the plants.

Use a Cheat Sheet

Don’t be intimidated if you don’t have a green thumb. You have Pinterest! You can use your phone to look up tutorials and gardening ideas.

Connect With Mother Nature

Unplug electronics, and connect with Mother Nature. If digging in the dirt isn’t your idea of a good time, take a trip with your children to a local greenhouse or farmer’s market.

Hey DFTM Fam–Have you and your little owe gotten your hands dirty growing a garden? What was the fruit of your labor? 


About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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