Once you start gardening outdoors, one of your best helpers will be your children. Most children love to dig in the dirt, and that makes it easy for them to learn firsthand the joys of gardening.
One of the easiest ways to grow little gardeners is by starting them off with container gardening. You could use anything from a cup to a barrel -- just let your child use their imagination. The most important thing to remember is to pick a vegetable that will grow quickly. Almost any easy-to-grow vegetable like cherry tomatoes or herbs will fascinate children if you invite them to plant, tend and harvest along with you.
One of the fastest and most dependable -- and very easy to grow -- vegetable is the radish. Just plant the seeds and in just a few short days they will sprout, showing off their green tops and fascinating even an impatient preschooler.
Your child can even join you in harvesting from your garden. One special pumpkin treat for children is letting them select a pumpkin from the patch to call their own. Then you can have lots of fun working with your child making a jack-o'-lantern. You do the hard work. Cut the top out and then let your child help spoon out the pumpkin contents. Next, using a marker let your child draw a face on the pumpkin. Cut out the drawing, place a candle inside and set it at the front door for everyone to see.
Even after the harvest is over, you can find fun and interesting ways to keep your child interested in gardening. You can collect leaves and plant foliage and create pictures and placemats. Once you've collected a variety of leaves and plants, you press them between a stack of books or inside a heavy book. Next, cut a rectangular piece of clear contact paper about the size of a piece of notebook paper. Peel off the backing and lay it on a table sticky side up. Place the dried leaves and foliage on the sticky side and then cover the arrangement with white or colored construction paper, letting it stick to the contact paper.
Another fun thing to do with leaves is leaf sketching. All you do is lay a leaf or leaves down on a hard smooth surface, place a piece of white paper on top and using a pencil rub back a forth to make a nice impression of the leaf.