The Q&A Archives: Seed Starting For Young Children

Question: Do you have any hints for helping very young children plant seeds indoors?

Answer: Tiny fingers may have an easier time with small seeds than an adult might expect. A small child's "pinch" of fine seeds can actually be quite small! Many times children will delight in carefully counting out two or three seeds and putting them in each little pot or cell. Some children, however, simply do better with the larger seeds, such as bean, melon, squash, or marigold. To space the seeds, use a physical measure easily accessible to the child. This will depend on the spacing you need. For starting seeds in a pan, draw a light line in the potting soil with a pencil or stick and then space the seeds along that line "as far apart as your thumb is wide," or "as far apart as this spoon is wide," or, if you have a small pot, "put one at the top, one at the bottom, one on the left, one on the right, and one in the middle for luck." All children love decorating labels for their own little pot of seeds, but you can add their (legible) initials, too!

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