Gardening is a great way to teach kids many of the lessons God wants them to learn. In fact, Jesus taught several parables that involved growing things and taking care of vineyards and fields.
You can use those same parables and a few easy to find items to teach your kids about God. Gardening can also teach your kids about growth, God’s creation, patience, sin, love, nurturing, service and more.
The problem is that in today’s world, gardening is often too big of a commitment for many people. The idea of plowing, planting, weeding and processing a large plot of land seems overwhelming. Or perhaps your finances won’t cover the expenses of a large garden.
The great news is that you can plant incredibly small gardens – even in major urban areas – and teach your kids lessons. You can even use things you have on hand and the kitchen scraps you toss in the trash. We have found some great gardening resources so you can garden with your kids and teach them about God as you work.
- Container gardening. Container gardening allows you to grow a few plants in almost any type of container. I had trouble getting extra pots earlier this spring so I am using a couple of beach sand pails to grow garlic and cucumbers. Just make sure the containers you use aren’t metal as they will become too hot later this summer. Here’s a link for more specifics on container gardening
- Gardening with kitchen scraps. Did you know much of what we throw away when cooking can be planted to grow more food for free? I’m currently growing bulbs of garlic from small segments of one bulb. Not everything works because of hybrids in our food chain, but this list will get you started.
- Gardening inside. If you live in a ninth floor apartment, you may think it’s impossible to grow food. Surprisingly, there are quite a few foods you can grow if you have a sunny window or can invest in lighting. This list can get you started.
- Hydroponic gardening. If you want to try something really different, consider hydroponic gardening. This particular website has lots of different designs, from simple to elaborate. (Note: This would perhaps tie in well to discussions of Bible stories involving water.)
- Aquaponic gardening. If you want to really get creative, grow food and introduce Bible stories about fish, aquaponic gardening might be for you. Fair warning, this type of gardening appears rather intense, but would definitely be memorable. This article can give you the basics if you are interested.
So grab some supplies, a Bible and your kids and start growing things. It’s a great summer activity that will also help teach your kids about God.