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The SmartSitting Guide to Urban Gardening with Kids!


Gardening season is officially here! We all know city living  has its limitations,  but with the right combination of indoor plants, sunlight, and creativity, you and your kids can can have a bustling urban garden in no time. Below we’ve compiled some tips for gardening with kids, suggestions for what to grow, and even a few easy recipes to make with your harvest!

 Our babysitters are always up for all kinds of fun activities, and some are especially passionate about gardening and urban farming! Check out SmartSitter Alice, who works and volunteers at community gardens and farms around the city when she’s not babysitting. 

Tips on gardening with kids:

  • Let your child pick from a list of indoor plants to grow: check out this list for vegetables, and this one for flowers!
  • Before you start planting, lay out some newspaper under your pots and soil, and have your kids wear gardening gloves before touching soil or seeds. 
  • Make sure to use a pot with holes in the bottom (with a dish underneath to catch drainage), or fill the bottom of the pot with stones or small rocks before you add the soil. 
  • Label each plant so you remember what you planted.
  • Be sure to position each plant according to their light requirements and temperature needs. 
  • Make and decorate a schedule for watering, pruning, and fertilizing if necessary. 
  • Consider keeping a daily photo journal so you and your kids can track the progress of your plants! 
  • Keep your kids’ expectations in check; make sure they understand that some seeds and plants don’t grow as well as others. It’s always a good idea to plant a few of each plant to increase your chances of success. If some of the plants aren’t thriving, let your kids know it’s not their fault, and save some extra seeds and soil in case you need to do some replanting! 


You can also make terrariums with your kids; these miniature gardens are mini self-sustaining ecosystems and lots of fun to build, so they make a great activity for your little gardeners! Check out this guide to making terrariums with your kids! 


Try this homemade pesto recipe to add to your favorite pasta, pizza, or sandwiches:  

Homemade Pesto

  • 1/2 clove garlic

  • one big bunch of basil

  • 1 handful of pine nuts

  • 1 handful of parmesan cheese

  • olive oil to taste

With a food processor: Place all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth, adding more olive oil as needed.

Without a food processor: Peel the garlic and pound or chop very finely into a puree. Chop the basil and pine nuts, then stir in half the Parmesan cheese. Drizzle just enough oil to form the mixture into a saucy consistency, then add the remaining cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add more of any ingredient until you are happy with the result! 

  • Easy freezing tip : put your extra pesto in ice cube trays. That way if you’re just using it for a bowl or two of pasta, you can just defrost a few cubes at a time! 


Add fresh herbs to salads, sandwiches, or your other favorite recipes to add some fresh flavor and get your kids excited about their home-grown creations! 


And if your harvest is more than you can eat, bundle your herbs together with string, twine, or rubber bands, and hang them to dry. Be sure they get dry enough to crumble between your fingers, and then you can use them as seasoning for months to come!



SmartSitting can help you find a babysitter or nanny today to “grow” your kids’ minds and introduce them to all kinds of new activities, recipes, and interests. 

Fill out our Family Application here to get started! 

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