Recently we’ve been busy both in our garden and inside the house getting everything ready for summer. Outside it’s been mainly neatening up our work from last year but indoors we’ve been starting up some easy plants to grow with the kids. We’ve used plug plants before but after my son had started growing seeds at school he really wanted to try this at home too and over the years we’ve tried a few different things. If your kids are the same and you want to get some results (because there’s no one as results driven as kids) then these are the easy plants that kids can grow from seed that we’re either already giving a go or hoping to try this year. I hope it inspires you too!
Please note that this is an older post that I have updated for your convenience as so many of us are trying out growing plants with our kids right now!
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Easy Plants Kids Can Grow From Seed
Getting your kids excited about the natural world is a great thing to do and finding some quick growing seeds for kids is a great way to do that. You can go with your kids interests for flowers or food or go for a bit of both! As much as these are easy to grow we normally try out a couple of different seeds at once so your child can see what grows best or – eek – just in case you have a bit of a disaster and something doesn’t grow. If you enjoy these ideas, or are just trying to get your kids outside a bit more, then you might enjoy our free outdoor scavenger hunt printable to do in your garden or backyard too.
Sunflowers might be a classic but I figure there’s a good reason for that and besides, who doesn’t like how cheerful they look? I figure planting sunflower seeds* is a bit of a rite of passage for kids. We started by growing these directly in the garden but didn’t have much joy so we’re growing them in peat plant pots* indoors and then moving them out instead. The one pictured at the bottom of this page in a plastic cup is my daughters one from nursery!
Lettuce is super easy to grow from seed and if you use a seed tape* you don’t even have to think about spacing them out correctly. Getting kids to grow vegetables is also a really good way to encourage them to eat more as it’s more fun – my dad has a big allotment and my kids are always keen to race outside and try all of the things that they wouldn’t touch with a bargepole at home!
This one was totally my kids own choice (possibly because I told them you often have basil on pizza) so we are currently growing basil from seed*. It seems to be going really well but I will report back if we end up having a disaster instead!
Cress is perfect for growing with kids because it grows so quickly, meaning you get results before they get bored. Egg cress heads are a classic way to grow cress but this year we’ve been using cress seeds* on a piece of kitchen paper on a small plate and keep it nice and moist. An added bonus was that the kids both tried it which they wouldn’t have done if I’d just popped some on a plate. Instead of just popping your seeds onto a bit of kitchen paper like we did you could also try doing them as a picture, perhaps putting the seeds down in the shape of your child’s initial or drawing a simple smiley face with two clumps of seeds for eyes and a curved line for a mouth (that’s if the idea of eating a cress person doesn’t freak your kids out, my two obviously like anything a bit daft!)
Runner beans* are a great vegetable to start growing from seed. My kids have previously grown them in pots before but I love this idea about growing them in on the window if you want to watch the actual growing process. This year we’ve been growing some runner beans in clear plastic, we started them off just with a bit of damp kitchen paper so that the kids could see their seeds grow and after a few days all four pots had seeds growing in them! We then carefully took the seeds out and I pierced some holes in the bottom of the cups. I’d normally try and go with something a bit more environmentally friendly but these were all we were able to get at the time and it was really interesting for the kids to actually be able to see their seeds grow day by day, plus we’ll certainly be reusing them to try growing some more plants from seed. We then filled our cups with soil and put our seeds in them with some water. We’re about ten days in now and the pots have moved outside and all of them are growing really healthily! Both my kids are really pleased with this one and I’m looking forward to us being able to plant them out in the garden soon. Maybe I’ll even convince my kids to start eating runner beans?! If not more for me I guess!
I’ve successfully grown cherry tomatoes* a few times pre-kids or when my kids were very small but this is what I’ll be trying out with them as soon as I’ve finished updating this post today. I find that cherry tomatoes are better to grow that larger ones as they don’t take so long and due to this you’re less likely to have as many issues (tomatoes splitting etc) also my daughter loves cherry tomatoes so I’m hoping that will give her the extra incentive to look after this plant.
I love poppies and they’re easy flowers for kids to grow plus they’ll look super cheerful in your garden once they’re in bloom.
Not only are sweet peas* really easy to grow from seed, they also look super pretty in your garden too!
More Ideas for Gardening with Kids