Getting kids to eat veggies doesn’t have to be a battle. According to the American Gardening Association, 98% of kids who grow their own vegetables eat them. Try growing a garden to give kids a fun and educational way to learn about food and healthy eating. Growums Garden Kits makes creating gardens easy.
Growums comes in six garden kits recommended for kids ages 5-12 years:
- Herb Garden – Includes seeds for oregano, cilantro, parsley, and basil.
- Pizza Garden – Includes seeds for tomato, bell pepper, oregano, and basil.
- Ratatouille Garden – Includes seeds for eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, and zucchini.
- Salad Garden – Includes seeds for tomato, lettuce, carrot, and cucumber.
- Stirfry Garden – Includes seeds for bok choy, carrot, sugar snap peas, and broccoli.
- Taco Garden – Includes seeds for lettuce, tomato, cilantro, and jalapeño pepper.
I met the Growums team at the Time to Play event in New York City. The company asked me to test and review its Herb Garden Kit. I love fresh herbs and vegetables so I accepted and recruited my 11 year old niece to help.
Setting Up the Garden Kits
1) The first step is to register at Growums.com. The Growums Garden Kits are the first interactive kits for kids. The site features lots of cute and fun vegetable and herb cartoon characters as well as games and learning tips. The site sends kids or parents emails during the growth cycle to remind them what to do next for their plants and to provide general gardening guidance.
2) Place the coco pellets (pods of dirt) in a pie tin or shallow container (we used empty takeout containers). The 8 pellets come in flat discs about 1.5” in diameter and ¼” high.
3) Empty the container of the seed packets and fill with warm water. Gradually add the water into the tin or dish. The pellets absorb the water in about 5 minutes and quickly expand to about 2” high.
4) Insert 3 seeds into each pellet. Each packet contains more seeds than needed just in case tiny hands lose them or for reseeding later. Push seeds into pellet about a fingernail deep. Add the plant tags.
Watching the Plants Grow
If after 10 days the seeds don’t sprout, kids can replant the pellets with the extra seeds. In our test, 5 of the 8 sprouted within a few days. After my niece replanted the ones that initially failed, within a few more days the total raised to 7 out of 8. One cilantro pellet refused to grow.
The successful pellets saw plants grow to half a foot high within a few weeks. We transferred the plants to larger pots. Eventually we plan to move the plants into even larger pots since the outdoor growing season is ending in our area. For those people who live in sunshine year round, transfer the plants into the ground.
Based on our experiment, here are the pros and cons:
1) The kits are easy to set up. My niece thought it was fun to watch the pellets expand.
2) My niece enjoyed the hands on approach and felt proud to put together her own garden. She checked the pellets every day and was excited when the seeds sprouted.
3) Growums are available in a wide variety of garden kits.
4) Having a garden teaches kids where food comes from and encourages them to eat healthy.
5) The interactive online aspect differentiates Growums from other garden kits.
6) Though targeted to kids, novice adult gardeners may enjoy using these kits, too
1) Too much of the post-planting instructions are left for the website and weekly emails. People can’t find on the package basic information like where to place the plants or when to transfer them to pots or the ground. The reality is that busy parents/kids don’t always read emails nor have time to check the website. More instructions within the product’s container would be helpful.
2) The package says results may vary based on season, but it never says what seasons are ideal for growing. Can these plants successfully grow indoors year round if people bought the kit in the winter?
3) The website can be utilized better. On the Growums site, kids collect points for things like watering the pellets, putting them by a sunny window, etc. but no where does it say what these points are for (we assumed they were for unlocking games). We also think the games could be more engaging to warrant repeat play.
Overall we thought the Growums garden kits were a great idea, and my niece really enjoyed the experience. The lessons learned trumped the cons – learning where food originated from, seeing how plants grew, feeling pride in ownership of growing living things, and creating excitement about eating herbs and vegetables. The kits retail for $9.95. Parents can purchase the kits directly from www.Growums.com.
Disclosure: Author received one or more of the products mentioned above for the sole purpose of this review. Author did not receive any other compensation. All opinions expressed are those of the author.
This article was republished with the permission of Maria Adcock, the NY Motherhood Examiner and creator of BiculturalMama.com. To learn more, visit www.biculturalmama.com, follow on Twitter (@BiculturalMama) and “Like” on Bicultural Mama’s Facebook page.