Number 15 of the 101 Things to do with kids is
If possible allow your child a plot of land or at least a flower pot in which to experience growing things.
K2 bought a seed potato a while back. I cut it into four pieces and he planted them. A few days later he dug a couple up to see if they were growing.
Now they're doing quite well. Three of them are, anyway. I'm not too sure what happened to potato piece number four. It's quite possibly rotting in the raspberry bushes somewhere.
I bought a couple strawberry plants, and as soon as the berries are ripe enough (any bit of red at all), they're picked. I think that they're even eaten. And I can't wait for the raspberries to be ready. I'm also hoping that the raspberries aren't too angry about the severe pruning job that they got this spring (which K2 got to help with as well--awesome!).
I think that this is a great Thing. It makes so much sense on so many levels. Your kids get to learn about where food comes from. They get to dig in the dirt. They get to learn how plants grow. They get to dig in the dirt and you can't get mad at them for it! They get to learn the responsibility of taking care of things so that they grow and flourish. And watering is fun, fun, fun!
I mean, after they get to dig in the dirt for a reason, and get really dirty which is the bestest fun ever, they get to water everything. Not just the plant, but the lawn around it. And the deck. And the sandbox. And maybe they can fill the kiddie pool a bit more while they're at it. And maybe now we can put the sprinkler on, Mom.
And while the sprinkler's on, you just go on thinking that we're occupied. Hey, is it okay that we moved these flowers over here? I know we already did it, so it must be okay, right? I think the sandbox needs more water, so I'll just move the sprinkler over there. Heck. Let's just put it right in the pool while we're at it. That'll help balance out the sand-to-water ratio that's in the pool.
Once everything's watered and tended-to, it's just a matter of letting the sun do it's thing, and we've had lots of sun so far this summer!
Now we just have to wait until the potatoes are ready for some more justified digging-that-happens-not-in-the-sandbox!