Are We Lonely?

Are We Lonely? | LazyHippieMama.comWe are a society that values the ability to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”  We assume that people should be able to handle the things that life throws at them by themselves or, in the worst case scenario, with their very close, immediate family.  But is that really how humans are wired?

Whether you are talking about breastfeeding and childbirth or food security and housing issues or retirement and caring for our eldest loved ones it seems like we all agree that support is crucial.  We form support groups for everything from mothers of toddlers to recovering drug addicts.  We talk about how vital it is to connect with others. We acknowledge that community is key to success.

Then we, as a society, look down our noses at anyone who has the audacity to ask for help.  Why can’t you buy your own groceries? Pay for your own school tuition? Care for your own children? Why should we have to help you? You are an adult. You should be able to be responsible for taking care of your own basic needs.

Certainly things weren’t perfect in the past. History tells some nightmarish stories of institutionalized orphanages, sweatshops, and hard-working people dying of starvation in the streets.  At the same time, our great grandmothers thought nothing of simply assuming the other ladies in the neighborhood would keep an eye on their children. Our great grandfathers never doubted that their friends would help them build adequate shelter for their family or harvest their fields.  It’s just what you did for neighbors.

I live in a tiny rural town. I don’t even know the names of half of my neighbors and nobody thinks that’s strange.  It’s just the way things are.

People who choose to live communally are thought to be strange or on the fringe of society.

I’m certainly no sociologist. Maybe there is some fantastic evolutionary reason why we need to become more isolated from one another. Maybe I’m mistaken entirely and this is a non-issue in our culture.  I don’t know, so I’m asking you…

What do you think?

Is our society lacking a true sense of community?

Is that hindering us from living life to its fullest?

If so, what can we do to improve the situation?

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Composting 101

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a percentage of any purchases made.

Composting 101 | LazyHippieMama.comWhether you’re just looking for a place to throw your lawn trimmings or you want to do a full re-vamp of what you’re putting in the landfill what you need to do is start your own compost pile.

If you are like me when you decide to do something like this you Google it.  What happens then is that you get a long list of articles (like this one – except not nearly as fun and easy to understand) that tell you how to go about creating what you need.  Here’s the thing… when I first decided to build a compost bin the instructions I found on many sites were so complicated I almost gave up.  The bin designs included turners and aerators and solar panels. There were websites for buying specialty worms and insects.

Thankfully, I decided to plunge ahead and, as it turns out, everything is working out just fine.

Here’s the main thing you need to know:  Vegetal matter will rot and break down.

That’s it.  That’s the one key to keep in mind.  Now… can you speed up the process? Make it tidier? Balance the nutrients that you end up with.  Yes. You can do all of that and more.  But you really don’t have to do much of anything to make your biodegradable waste turn into black dirt.

On the other hand, there are a few important things you may want to keep in mind.  Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

Note: If I was going to buy a fancy composter I’d buy one like this.  It makes kitchen scraps into useable dirt in just a few days and it is far prettier than what I built out of pallets. You even get your choice of colors!

1) Don’t put meat or animal products in your compost pile.

Meat will attract nasty predators and scavengers.  I’m assuming that you’re not looking to draw anything from rats to vultures to coyotes to your yard.  It will also stink a great deal more than vegetal compost.

2) Do put a variety of other things.

Kitchen scraps and yard clippings, dead leaves, small sticks, egg shells, newspaper, cardboard…  the more variety you toss in your bin the richer your mature compost will be.

3) Locate your compost pile in a place where the bugs won’t bother you.

Insects are a valuable part of the composting process and your outdoor compost pile will be crawling with them.  You probably don’t want it right outside your back door where you’re going to get a face full of flies every time you leave the house.

This is my pallet bin. It was quick and easy to build and it gets the job done.

This is my pallet bin. It was quick and easy to build and it gets the job done.

4) Do make sure the air and water can get to your compost.

This is not the project for a sealed, air-tight, water-tight bin. One of the reasons pallets are great for building compost bins is because the slats let the air in.  If you turn your compost with a pitchfork or shovel every so often it will rot faster.  If you don’t it will still rot.

5) Don’t put dog or cat waste in your compost – especially if you’re going to use it in the garden.

Dog and cat poo can potentially contain some very nasty bacteria and parasites, even if your pet is healthy.  Their digestive systems are just very different from ours.  Those organisms can live in your compost pile and make you sick when they come in contact with food or through handling of the compost.

6) Do add rabbit or chicken poo.

Also, toss in the stuff you clean out of your hamster or guinea pig’s cage.  Cow and horse poop are awesome in compost but if you’re already caring for a cow or horse your homesteading skills are likely so far beyond mine you stopped reading several paragraphs ago.  These types of manure will break down quickly, easily and safely.

7) Don’t expect things to go very quickly.

If you want to compost in 24 hours you need to buy the fancy equipment.  If you just want to throw your scraps in a pile you will still get compost. It will take a long time. Potentially years, depending how big your compost bin is.

Composting 101

8) Don’t worry too much about it.

You’re working with kitchen scraps and poop. This is not the project in your life that should be keeping you up at night.  Your compost pile should be a tool that helps create a space for your waste and generates some fertilizer for your garden. Don’t let it be more of a project than it really needs to be!

Before you go… don’t forget to enter the VivoPrint gift card give-away!  You can win $50 toward some gorgeous custom-designed electronics accessories or photo gifts.

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“123 Tracing” Review – A Great App For Preschoolers

123 Tracing Free - A Review of An Educational App For Preschoolers |*This is a sponsored post. I was compensated to offer my honest review of this product.

I am a big fan of keeping young children outdoors and encouraging them to move their bodies and play.  I’m also a realist.  We live in an electronic world and our children need to grow up knowing how to use the technology that is developing at an astounding rate all around them.  For that reason I don’t mind letting my kids – even my youngest – “plug-in” at times.  I consider it extra bonus points when they can have fun playing and the game is teaching them a valuable skill.

I downloaded 123 Tracing Free from the Amazon AppStore onto my Kindle Fire and Toddler-saurus Rex took to it instantly.  He loves anything electronic and he loves to read and count but, at 2 1/2 he hasn’t shown much interest yet in trying to write with a pencil.  This app allowed him to use his fingers to trace the letters and he was absolutely thrilled with it.

The colors and images were bright and clear and simple and the game was easy and instinctive for him.  He was delighted with the praise it gave him.  The hardest part was trying to console him when the battery died on the Kindle!

If you’re looking for a way to introduce the concept of tracing numbers and letters to your child I would highly recommend this one! You can get by following this link to the AppStore.

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Learning Chemistry, Physics and Math in the Garden – Part 1

Chemistry, Physics & Math in the Garden - Part One | LazyHippieMama.comAgriculture is science. If you’re growing something – whether flowers in a pot on the windowsill or vast fields of vegetables – you’ve got a ready-built classroom.

There are some obvious lessons: What does a seed require to sprout? How do plants “eat and drink” from the soil? Which animals are harmful/helpful to plants? Etc.  But there are other things that can be learned in the garden as well.  A good gardener has a grasp on chemistry, physics and math.

Each Friday for the rest of the month of April I’m going to be sharing ideas for very simple, low-cost ways to use your garden to explore science and math.

1) Acid or Base?

Soil can become acidic or alkaline over time.  To find out which way your dirt is leaning you can take a handful of earth and mix it with water until it’s liquid mud.  Separate it into 2 cups. Add vinagar (acid) to one cup and baking soda (base) to the other.  Watch for a reaction.  If the mud is acidic the baking soda will create a foamy reaction. If it is alkaline the vinegar will do the same. If it is neutral (or close to it) neither substance will react.

Chemistry, Physics & Math in the Garden - Part One |

Why does the reaction happen? Because the acid will dissolve the bonds holding the molecules together in the base. That creates energy which is released into the liquid. When the energy is burned up, the reaction calms and the bubbling effect will slow and, eventually, come to a stop.  For a much more thorough (but still quite kid-friendly) explanation check out this website.

2) Absorbency/capacity

Different plants grow well in different types of soil.  Tomatoes love very damp earth. Pumpkins will sprout on a hot compost pile. Lavender loves dry, gravelly sand. The reason for the variation (at least in part) is that each of these plants have a different requirement for the amount of water needed to grow and each type of soil has a different rate of absorbency.

Go around the yard and see if you can find some different types of soil.  You may find that you have several kinds, naturally.  In my yard I have one streak of red clay, a sandy stretch and a lot of black loam.  Get creative. Do you have playground sand? Potting soil? Mulch? Gravel?

Put a sample of each type in a cup or bowl.  Using a measuring cup start adding water to each sample to see which types of soil are the most absorbent.

Wikianswers has a great explanation of why the different types of soil hold water differently.

3)  Erosion

erosionTake a plate full of earth and have your child blow, as hard as they can on the dirt and see if they can make it blow away.  Can they make it into shapes, like sand dunes? Discuss in what ways the wind shapes the dirt.

If you hold the dirt at a slight angle and run a small amount of water over it what happens? Can they cut a valley? Does it wash away entirely?

Now try the same thing with dirt that has something growing in it (like a piece of sod). Can you still move the earth?  How do the plants help “anchor” the dirt to the ground?

These experiments can offer a great opening into discussions about all sort of things. Why do farmers plant cover crops? Why are there stands of trees between fields in the midwest? Why do architects need to know about how erosion works when building bridges over rivers, houses on hillsides or planning cities in valleys?

Come back next Friday! We’ll cover trajectory, simple machines, measuring area and more!

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No Child Should Go Hungry!

No Child Should Go Hungry - The Hunger Is Campaign | LazyHippieMama.comWhen I was a little girl I never knew that my mother was struggling to put food on the table. I didn’t know how painful that must have been for her until I found myself in a similar circumstance several years ago.  The idea of sending a child to school hungry is a nightmare for any parent. I’ve never known a more desperate feeling.

Thanks be to God our circumstances have improved over the years but there are millions of Americans still struggling.

Here in a land where we throw away literally HALF of all the prepared food available, one in five children struggle with hunger.  Not only do these children face multiple health issues, but studies have shown that their education can be negatively affected.

This is not a problem that is happening in another time and place. This is the reality, right here in the Land of Opportunity.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

The Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation have launched Hunger Is, a joint charitable program designed to raise awareness and funds to fight childhood hunger in the United States.  The year-round campaign encourages individuals and communities to get involved in solving a widespread problem that too often goes unnoticed.

Funds raised through the initiative will go toward programs focused on eradicating childhood hunger and improving health-related outcomes. During the inaugural year, breakfast programs will be the focus, giving children a healthy start to their day and the best chance to excel.

No Child Should Go Hungry - The Hunger Is Campaign |

Don’t stand by and let this continue without taking action!

Safeway stores are using April as a fundraising month for this initiative. If you shop at Safeway, please be aware of the opportunity being presented to help a child in your own neighborhood.

If there is no Safeway store near you, I ask that you take a moment to visit the Hunger Is website and see how you can help. None of us can solve this problem alone, but a few moments of your time may contribute to helping a child break the cycle of poverty.

No Child Should Go Hungry - The Hunger Is Campaign |

***This is NOT a sponsored post. I learned of this opportunity to help children and wanted to share it.***

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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Custom Photo Gifts – A VivoPrint Review and $50 Giftcard Give-away!

bannerOK – if you are my parent or my spouse you need to not read this post. Trust me. It’s for all good reasons.  You’ll find out why soon enough just…. tell all your friends to read it but stop scrolling now. Come back tomorrow for What Do You Think? Wednesday. It’ll be great. Thanks. You guys are the best.  I love you!

Now… everyone else… carry on.

Vivoprint contacted me and asked if I would be willing to do an honest review of their products in exchange for some free samples. I agreed, admittedly a little uncertain. I’ve seen similar products from other companies and been unimpressed.

It turns out I had nothing to worry about.  The items I received were gorgeous!

Vivoprint offers phone cases, electronic accessories, and a nice selection of gift/promotional items.  I was looking at items with the idea of giving them as presents but they would be great tools for promoting a business as well!

For less than $50, including shipping, I was able to get 3 great gifts!  The Vivoprint website is incredibly easy to navigate and the instructions for uploading your photos are clear and simple. The trickiest part was figuring out which photos I wanted to use and editing them to fit the shape of the items I chose.

I sent them this photo…

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review |

And got this great phone case for my mom.  Her 80th birthday is coming up in just a few weeks and she’s turning into an iPhone master. I love that she doesn’t fear technology. She truly is the youngest octogenarian I’ve ever known! I wish that I had a really great camera that could truly show how sharp the colors are. Any blurriness is due to my camera, not the product they sent me. The images are very crisp and bright. I chose the matte finish for the phone case because the description said it made it a little easier to hold on to. The do offer a glossy finish as well.

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review |

For my dad I ordered one of the color changing mugs for father’s day. He drinks coffee all day every day so I know he’ll use it and he loves showing off his grandkids. This will make it super easy for him.  The color changing feature fascinates me. I could play with this cup all day.  What can I say? I’m easily amused.

My original (I did have to edit it a bit from this to fit the shape of the cup and add the text, but this is very close to what I used):

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review |

The finished product:

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review |

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review |

Handsome Hippie Hubby got one too.

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review |

Everything came out just beautifully!

One other thing I wanted to mention was the great packaging.  Admittedly, the Hippie side of me cringes at all things styrofoam. That said, we’ve ordered things in the past, from other companies, and been sad to open a box full of broken glass when our products arrived.  These were so perfectly packaged I have to think they could have survived even the most severe weary-postal-worker treatment.

VivoPrint custom photo gifts review |

VivoPrint is generously offering Lazy Hippie Mama readers a 30% discount off of all orders placed before May 30!

Just use coupon code Vivo30 at checkout.

Even more exciting… one lucky reader gets a $50 gift card!

Hooray! I love having the opportunity to give away really great products!  I don’t doubt for a second that you will be as impressed as I was with VivoPrint.

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Can Your Period Make You Sick?

Can Your Period Make You Sick? | LazyHippieMama.comI wasn’t going to write anything today because I’m just not feeling very well.  It’s nothing serious. I just have a little springtime cold that’s nagging at me. It makes me feel tired and unmotivated. You know… even more than usual. But then I noticed something and I got curious and did a little research and learned something new so I thought I would share it.

I was looking through the all-purpose-keep-track-of-the-family’s-life calendar that hangs on our wall and I realized that, a few months ago, I got sick with a stomach bug and missed work just a few days after my period started.

It struck me as interesting because I’m fairly certain I’ve been fighting off my current sniffles for a while now. People all around me had colds, including my daughter. I could feel the little tickle in my throat but I felt like my body had it under control. I wasn’t getting sick. I was fighting it off… until my period came. About 2 days in all my defenses fell and I turned into Sneezy Dwarf.

All of this prompted me to think back. I don’t get sick very often but I have several distinct memories along the lines of, “Geez. As if it’s not bad enough that I have a fever of 102, I have to deal with Aunt Flo, too.”

A quick Google search told me I’m not imagining things.  It turns out that a woman’s immune function does drop during her menstrual cycle and for good reason. If she is pregnant, this is the time the egg would be implanting. It’s important that the body doesn’t freak out and reject the egg as some sort of foreign invader so the immune system backs off for a few days.

Science is cool.

But, still. *sniffle,sneeze,cough* being sick sucks.

There are a few things you can do to help yourself. None of it is rocket science. You know how to take care of yourself. Be conscious of the fact that there are certain times when you need to be especially aware of your health.

Taking half a bottle of vitamin C when you start to get sick really isn’t going to do anything for you.  However, making sure that you are eating a nutrient-rich diet all the time will go a long way toward helping your body do the things it needs to do.  This is especially true in the week or so before your period starts.  Eat lots of fruit and veggies during that time!

Don’t go low-fat!  Healthy fats (think avocados, almonds and coconut oil. Not chocolate donuts.) will help your body stay strong. Again, it’s always a good idea to eat well, but make a special point to nourish your system during the days leading up to menstruation.

Do you feel tired and unable to face the world when you’re pre-menstrual? Go with that. Try to give your body enough rest.

Can Your Period Make You Sick? | LazyHippieMama.comIf all fails, try my granny’s famous hot toddy.  There is actually some science behind the ingredients as they are immune boosting and anti-bacterial.  Plus you’ll be too drunk and sleepy to care that you’re sick.  My grandmother was a genius.

One large mug of very strong black tea – as hot as you can stand it.

One (fairly liberal) shot of whiskey

2 TBSP of lemon juice

2 TBSP of honey

Mix it all together. Drink it as fast as you can. Wrap in the warmest blanket you can find (preferably a gloriously soft home-made quilt). Sleep!

Here’s to a healthy spring for all of us!

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Grow Your Hydroponic Produce Using the Sun’s Bountiful Energy!

I am thrilled to have guest blogger Chris Wimmer sharing his wisdom and experience today regarding hydroponic gardening. Be sure to read all the way to the end and follow the link to get his new, free Spring Hydroponic Growing Guide. Enjoy! 

Grow Your Hydroponic Produce Using the Sun's Bountiful Energy! | LazyHippieMama.comAbout the Author: Chris Wimmer is an urban hydroponic hobbyist who uses hydroponics to maximize his 400 square foot yard and extend the short Chicago growing season. Chris blogs about his hydroponic experiences at and is on facebook.

It’s officially Spring and it’s time to start your spring garden.  Using hydroponics in your outdoor garden gives you all the benefits of indoor hydroponics with the added benefits provided by the sun’s full-spectrum lighting.

Definition of a Hydroponic Garden:

True hydroponic gardens contain no soil. The soil is replaced with an inert medium such as rockwool or coco coir.

Water and feeding are automated so the plant is never without either.

pH levels and fertilizer are easily measured to ensure the plant’s energy is focused on vegetation and flower/fruit growth at all times.

There’s more to a thriving garden than that which is mentioned above, but the above-mentioned variable are the heart of growing your produce hydroponically.

Grow Your Hydroponic Produce Using the Sun's Bountiful Energy! |

Benefits offered by an outdoor hydroponic garden:

Easy natural lighting:

The sun will always be the greatest natural resource on Earth so we should always embrace it.  Hydroponics work perfectly with the natural summer sun patterns.  There’s no need for a timer or adjusting the distance of the lamp like there is in an indoor growing system.

Little or no dangerous chemicals needed:

I find that a clean well maintained growing tray will significantly reduce the number of critters around your plants.  Addressing a few critters is usually pretty easy vs. the swarms that can occur in the soil.

Quick tip: Add a bug zapper in near your garden to safely guard your plants.

You control all the growth variables:

With hydroponics, your plant’s root system is constantly fed a water, oxygen, and fertilizer-rich solution to maximize their growth. Since you’ll also be controlling the pH level of the feeding solution and growing media, the plants growth won’t be inhibited by acidic imbalances that can happen naturally and which are harder to control with plants grown in soil.

What crops should you grow?

You can grow anything you want BUT some are more work than others.

In general, root vegetables are harder to grow because of their depth requirements. It’s best to start with one of the easier-to-grow plants listed below, to get acquainted with the various hydroponic techniques first, then move on to more difficult-to-grow varieties of fruits, veggies, shrubbery, or exotic flowers.

Grow Your Hydroponic Produce Using the Sun's Bountiful Energy! | LazyHippieMama.comPopular starter plants include:



Salad greens



Interested in starting something this spring?

If so I just completed a Spring Hydroponic Growing Guide which I’m offering for FREE.  It will teach you all the basics of hydroponics, provide you key questions you should consider before starting, and even a couple easy step by step system building guides. Happy growing!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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Old Enough To Speak?

Old Enough To Speak? | LazyHippieMama.comWalking the line between providing your children with a moral, ethical or cultural compass with which to function in society and allowing them the freedom to form their own opinions and be their own person can be tricky.

Some parents believe that it is the best course of action to try to present a neutral front at all times.  If a child asks, “Do you believe in God?” Or, “Which political party do you favor?” Or, “Is a capitalist or socialist system better for the average person?” they turn into Socrates and start turning their questions back on them. “What do you think? Why do you think that? Where do you think we could go to get more information?”  Those parents never give so much as a hint at what their own convictions are.

Other parents feel that there is a morally right answer to many of life’s big questions. They have come to their own conclusions about which answers are right/good and which are wrong/bad. They want their children to be good citizens, according to this moral code, and so they teach them accordingly.  ”We follow this religion because it is the truth.” Or, “We march against that rule because it is unjust.”

Of course, the vast majority of parents will fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between “give a child total freedom in figuring the world out for themselves,” and “teach a child every belief they should value.”  It seems logical to me that parenting to the extreme left would lead to a pack of anarchists ruling your house like little wolf children and the extreme right would land you on the 6 O’Clock news as some sort of a cult leader.

Most of us agree that children need some degree of direction/guidance in their lives and some amount of freedom to think for themselves.  Also, even if you don’t verbalize a belief to your child they see your actions and learn from them. Parents are teaching every moment of the day.

All of these thoughts have been buzzing in my head since a friend posted the video, below of a 12-year-old girl giving a speech about abortion.

First, I have to say, whether you agree with her view of the issue or not, this kid is a gifted speaker. I know a lot of adults (myself included) who wouldn’t be able to speak so clearly and with such passion in front of a group. This debate has been going on for longer than I’ve been alive and everything that needs to be said has been said a thousand times so it’s not like she burst forth with some amazing revelation that no one before her has ever spoken of.  But her points are clearly well-researched and well stated. I hope she got a great grade!

The friend who originally posted the video made a similar observation and said that he hoped whoever the child was who had to argue the other side of the debate was ready for her pointed questions.

Of course, because of the nature of the topic the comments turned into a bit of a firestorm.

What was interesting, though, was that people weren’t arguing about whether or not abortion should be legal.  They were arguing about whether a child of this age could hold an opinion as strong as the one she presents without having been “brainwashed” by their parents.

The two arguments seemed to break down like this:

The child is obviously just repeating what has been told to her. She is too young to have an opinion of her own on such a matter. Therefore, there is nothing I can learn from this speech. It has no value beyond a classroom exercise in standing up in front of a crowd.


People under-estimate kids. Their thoughts and ideas on topics such as these are just as valuable as those posed by adults – maybe even more so.

What do you think? Keep in mind, I’m not asking about abortion, specifically, but using it as an example of a controversial, traditionally “adult” topic.

Are children intellectually capable of forming their own ideas on “big/adult” topics such as abortion?

Should children have a voice in society’s discussion of such things?

If your answer is no, what age (on average) is “old enough” to speak?

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 



10 Reasons To Get Kids Into The Garden

10 Reasons To Get Kids Into The Garden | LazyHippieMama.comThere is a rumor going around that it may touch 60 degrees in this part of Michigan today. If it does, it will be the warmest day we’ve had in four months. It has been a long, cold winter and everyone is more than ready for spring!  I’d be willing to bet garden centers all around the area will be bustling, even though it’s really too early to trust the warmth. As that last frost date draws closer, though, I’d like to give you 10 great reasons to toss your kids out the door and into the garden.

1) Planting a garden is a great expression of creativity.

I believe when the Bible says that man is created “in the image of God” that refers, at least in part, to the creative spirit.  It is sheer joy to allow your garden be a living canvass upon which you bring your ideas  to literal fruition!  It’s true that kids might mess up the plan. They trample things and dig in the wrong spots. They put too many seeds in one hole and none in the next. Frankly, I do the same things. But if you have the type of personality that just gets really irritated by that perhaps you could share a corner or a pot or a pallet with the little people.  The creative spark in children runs bright and hot and you just might be amazed at what they can do when left to figure things out for themselves!

2) Being in nature has a calming effect.

It’s not just an old wives tale. Science backs up the theory that people who spend time out doors are calmer, more peaceful and better focused.  (Source)  If your children are driving you nuts with their wild antics hand them a bucket and boot them outside to pull weeds.  You’ll feel better. They’ll feel better. Everybody wins!

10 Reasons To Get Kids In The Garden |

3) Children who spend time outside do better in school.

There’s all that, above, but there’s this, too. Studies show that kids who spend time outside perform better in academic settings. (Source)

4) Helping to grow vegetables encourages eating vegetables.

Hand me a can of grayish-green peas and tell me it’s a side dish and I’ll turn my nose up at it every time, but I’ll happily munch fresh peas from the vine all afternoon!  Kids have taste buds, too!  Food, fresh from the garden, is flavorful and nourishing. Plus, it’s indescribably satisfying it is to see a plant that you’ve nurtured from a seed bear good fruit.  Even the pickiest veggie hater will find something they love to nibble if you give them enough time in the garden.

5) Gardening is a great way to teach children about how every part of our world is valuable and deserves respect.

A good garden needs worms and insects, dirt and old leaves and clean water and sunshine. I have never experienced a more tangible way of seeing, first-hand how every single thing on this earth is intricately and irrevocably woven together.  When we respect and care for all of the parts of our world and, in return, our world nourishes us. That’s a lesson every child needs to learn.

10 Reasons To Get Kids In The Garden | LazyHippieMama.com6) Getting dirty helps build the immune system.

Did you know that keeping your child too clean will make them sick? Kids raised in very sterile environments have a much higher tendency to asthma, allergies and immune problems.  (Source) Encourage your child to play in the dirt!

7) Being together in the garden presents great opportunities for conversation.

You know how “they” say you should limit screen time to 2.7 minutes a day (or something like that) for children under 17? Yeah… we don’t do that. We are a plugged in family. It is not unusual, at any given moment for me to be pecking away on my MacBook while Handsome Hippie Hubby is doing research on his laptop, Sweet Hippie Daughter is reading on her tablet and Toddler-saurus Rex is sorting colored shapes into baskets on the Kindle Fire.  We get in the car and we’re singing to the radio. We’re at the store and we’re focused on crossing items off the list.  But in the garden…  in the garden it’s just us. There is all the time in the world to talk about anything and everything while we putter along doing whatever needs to be done.

8) Gardening is great physical exercise.

We are a nation that asks our children to  sit  a LOT.  Sit on the bus. Sit in the car. Sit at your desk. Sit for your music lesson. Sit in church. Sit at the table. Sit down and do your homework. Ok, time to relax. Feel free to go sit on the couch and watch TV.

Gardening is motion. It is bending and lifting and digging and crawling.  If you make the mistake I did last year and put your plants too close together it’s like a yoga class trying to get to the fruit without squishing anything!  If you doubt that gardening is exercise, give it a go, just for a day or two and tell me how your back feels when you are done!

9) Problem solving, building, engineering and chemistry are all part of gardening.

10 Reasons To Get Kids In The Garden | LazyHippieMama.comYou’ve got a 12 foot long tomato vine crushing the 3 foot wire cage that is supposed to be supporting it.  How can you use the long stakes you have to get the plant up off the ground before it rots?

How do you get the water to spray on something that’s just out of reach of the hose?

How do you re-route the rain run-off so it doesn’t drown your beets?

Is the soil acidic or base? Is that good or bad? Why? How can it be adjusted?

Gardeners need to be constantly figuring and calculating, building and experimenting to see what works.  Gardening is science.

10) Because no child needs to watch another episode of…. anything.

Have you seen EVERY episode of SpongeBob Squarepants 782 times? Is one more day of Thomas the Train going to derail your brain?  Take your child out to the garden. Show them how to turn the sod. Let them plant seeds, mound up potatoes, pick beans or hand-pollinate squash blossoms.  You’ll both feel better for it.

Do you have a special memory of being in the garden with kids, or of being a kid in the garden with an adult you loved? 

I’d love it if you would share it in the comments!

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