11 Tips to Get Your Kids Loving Gardening
Gardening with your kids is a fantastic way to increase your bond with them. It is also an activity that teaches them to appreciate the way that the food they eat is made. It’s also a really good way to get them exercising in the fresh air. Gardening brings everybody together, all united towards achieving the same goal.
Getting your kids to enjoy gardening may be quite tricky given that it involves a measure of hard work. However, you should know that it is very possible. Indeed, most of our famous TV gardeners will tell you they were introduced to gardening at a very young age. Monty Don, for example, says that his love of gardening was fostered by growing vegetables.
To get your kids to fall in love with gardening, here are 11 solid tips that could help you out.
1. Provide Them With Their Own Garden Space
Kids have a natural affinity for dirt. Therefore, providing them with an opportunity to play with dirt would be a dream come true for them. The space that you allocate to them doesn’t have to be very large but it should be substantial enough for them to weed and water. Knowing that they are in control gives them a sense of responsibility towards the garden patch. In no time, you would have them dragging you to work in the garden.
2. Get Them Child-sized Garden Tools
Children love to play so you should go along with that. Getting the stuff that they can handle easily makes it all the more like a play date to them. Getting them kid-sized tools for gardening and a hat, gloves, and boots that give them the feeling that they are playing dress-up is a great idea. The more playful gardening seems the more they would be excited about it.
3. Give Them Tasks
Allocate tasks to them depending on what they like. Tasks like watering the garden would be loved by almost every kid because most kids love to play with water. Minor jobs such as watering, weeding and topping the compost pile are great jobs to give to the kids. Furthermore, giving kids these jobs makes them feel very responsible and trust me, they love that feeling.
4. Let Them Choose What They Want To Plant
Allowing them to decide what they want to plant for themselves would make the garden all the more important to them. Common options like potatoes, carrots, sunflowers, and pumpkins make for great choices. Kids love to be in control and allowing them to do this gives them a feeling of control. In fact, you’d be surprised at how much ready they would be to put in the work. It is also a great way to get your kids to eat vegetables since they would definitely love to eat what they planted.
5. Ensure that the plants are fast-growing ones
If you want to maintain the excitement that accompanied planting the seeds in the soil, then you need to make the plants fast-growing ones. For kids, seeing a shoot in the place of a seed in a very short period of time is just magical. Also, they are bound to check every day and the later it takes to grow, the more they lose interest in gardening. For instance, radishes have a seed to table time span of 22 days. Planting a section of radishes in your garden is sufficient to sustain the magic that is gardening for your kids.
6. Give Them The Freedom To Explore
Curiosity is a great way for your kids to learn and what better way for their interest to get piqued than when they explore. Allow them to run around the garden and dig up the soil to discover the worms and critters. Expose them to the different plants in the garden so that they can identify each one and learn more too. Kids soak up information pretty easily so why not go ahead and have a Nature class right there in the garden.
7. Decorate Your Garden
Make your garden a lot more exciting by adding decorations like a birdbath, a scarecrow or garden gnomes. This helps to practically bring life to your garden and provides it with character. The decorations could also have very functional purposes so it would be both fun and normal gardening process at the same time. Similarly, you can explain the use of the fixtures to your kids so that they learn something new. You could also plant some really colourful houseplants to brighten up your garden and subsequently, your home.
8. Don’t Force It
At other times, your kids may not be in the mood for gardening and this is fine. They may also get distracted so it should be something that you should anticipate. If you force them, gardening would begin to appear like a chore and they would end up dreading it. Since you don’t want this, you should go easy on them. Remember to encourage them and commend them on the great work that they are doing. This may serve as motivation for them to continue.
9. Use Teepees or Trellises for Vines
Teepees and Trellises make your garden a more visually pleasing sight and they are easy to pick. Watching the plants grow and climb up the support is an interesting sight all the time. Pole beans or a teepee supporting peas are a great place for kids to hide when playing in the garden as well.
10. Don’t Do Visiting Times!
Allow your kids access to the garden anytime that they want. Before doing this, you should caution them so that they don’t damage the plants. However, do not set visiting time for them. Allow them to work in their portion whenever they want, provided it isn’t affecting any of their other activities. This would boost their interest more too.
11. Do the Harvesting and Cooking Together
When it is time to harvest, have them actively involved so that they can see what they produced by themselves. Kids are super interested in eating anything that they helped make so this would be exciting for them as well. Encourage them to decide how they want it prepared too.
Gardening is a very exciting and fun activity provided you present it the right way to your kids. Use these tips and see if they don’t want to spend every waking minute in the garden.