They don’t want to leave!
It is common for students to resist returning to class after planting and to ask if they might stay to work longer. Be ready to promise students a chance to do more gardening as the plants grow.

Sitting on the side lines
Allow reluctant students to sit by the side and observe because forcing them to participate does not work well. Often when they see and hear how much fun the other students are having, they change their minds and join the group.

They’ll get dirty!
Sometimes children object to getting dirty. Having small garden gloves for students to use also encourages participation. Send a note home to parents to let them know about upcoming “gardening days” so that they can make sure students dress appropriately for outdoor garden work.

Worms and other critters
Anticipate an excited reaction to garden worms and be prepared to explain the important role of worms and other creatures in the soil. Students are generally fascinated to learn about them to the extent that finding a worm or beetle can become a highlight activity, not to mention a very “teachable moment.”

It won’t be perfect
A children’s garden often includes a bit of whimsy, and may very well have crooked rows or radishes coming up in the middle of the tomatoes. This is okay! Children’s gardens are like children’s artwork, that is, beautiful in their child-like enthusiasm and obviously works of “masters-in-the-making.” They have a charm all their own.

Make everyone feel included
Try to be sensitive to the needs of all children, whether they be kids who have little experience working in a garden or exposure to natural settings or kids who have special needs. All children should partake in the experience.