Question: How can I involve my youngster in marking out the garden so we know where to walk and where to plant?
Answer: In the beginning, you will need to do some basic soil preparation. This is often more effectively done by an adult, although children may enjoy spreading compost and helping dig it in. It's usually easier to prepare the soil over the entire area at once, especially if you are using a tiller. Then your family can decide on what areas you want to use for planting and where you'll put paths. You might sketch the overall layout on paper first to make sure your ideas are practical.
When it comes time to put your ideas into motion, have your child use a yardstick to mark approximate areas for plots and paths. A traditional method for marking boundaries is to use sticks with string, but brightly colored yarn is more fun. Another easy method is to have your child draw lines on the ground with ordinary kitchen flour. If there is a mistake, or you don't like the results, simply scratch it into the soil and try again.
Make sure your garden cart or wheelbarrow can fit on your paths, and make sure you (and your child) can reach into the center of the planting areas by keeping the beds to a width of about 4 feet. Once you are happy with the layout, mark or mulch the paths so everyone knows where to walk. Your child will especially enjoy showing visitors where they are allowed to step. Avoid walking on the planting areas as much as possible so you don't compact your carefully prepared soil.