July 13, 2018 | Featured Instructor

Grab your little ones and come to a party at the Gardens! Join us on July 22, 2018 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. for a morning of family fun to celebrate gardening and healthy eating. Families will participate in party games, make flower necklaces and plant seeds to take home. Bloomers Island book series author Cynthia Wylie will join us to share the story of “Bloomers Island: The Great Garden Party.” Light, healthy party refreshments will be provided.

Register for Family Garden Party

Cynthia Wylie shares her inspiration for Bloomers Island and fun family gardening tips below:

When my children were little and I was trying to get them to eat more vegetables I created stories about little plant, flower and tree characters (not vegetables!) called the Bloomers. I drew upon those characters and their home, Bloomers Island, and wove them into my lessons. Bloomers Island is a mysterious place far away in the Pacific Ocean that no human has ever seen, and where plants became the intelligent species. The Bloomers have to learn how to garden along with other important life lessons at their boarding school, a tree house held in the arms of Mr. Banyan.

I turned my stories into books where kids are inspired to grow their own food and eat their veggies. Here are some of the ideas and activities that you can try with your kids right now:

  1. Make gardening a game. Make up little prizes to give away to your children as they complete a gardening task.
  2. Invite friends. Let them have friends over to help them.
  3. Don’t forget the value of a scavenger hunt! Hide a couple of seed packets around the house or outside in the yard and let your kids look for them. When they find the seeds, help them choose what they want to grow.
  4. Bring technology into it. Let’s face it, kids love technology and there are many gardening apps they can use to plan a garden.
  5. Remember, gardening can be done indoors or out. You can grow lettuce, herbs, onions or radishes in a pot on a windowsill as long as there is sunlight.
  6. Kids love digging in the dirt! Give them a trowel and see how fast and how deep they can dig a hole.
  7. Kids love tools in general. Invest in an inexpensive gardening apron with their very own tools.
  8. Look up recipes together. Make a dish with whatever vegetable they are growing.
  9. Come up with some science experiments. Do fruits of the same size (avocados and tomatoes) have the same size seeds? For the little ones, cut open different fruits, pull out their seeds and put them in order from largest to smallest. Do the seed sizes correspond to the size of the fruit? What about peaches and apples?

Be creative and think of your own ideas to make gardening and healthy eating fun for your kids. Better yet, ask them! And share your ideas with us.

Cynthia Wylie is the founder of the company Bloomers Island and has five books published by Rodale Kids, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. You can share your ideas and gardening photos with her at www.CynthiaWylie.com or below in the comments. Learn more about the Bloomers at www.BloomersIsland.com.

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