Five Ideas for Including Children in Gardening
Gardening is a fun and fulfilling family hobby, but sometimes, it can be difficult to include your children in the activity. Follow these tips for ways to expose your children to the fun and satisfaction of gardening.
Make a List of Simple Plants
Growing a garden with your children is not only a great way to spend some quality time together, but it can also be an educational experience (they won’t even notice!). Research into some plants that require very little maintenance and will also grow well in your environment. Plants like sunflowers and beans are perfect to start with because they are easy to plant, sprout within a few days, and won’t require too much of your time (or your child’s attention).
Whether you are planting outdoors or in, you can come up with a list of exciting vegetables, flowers, fruits and many other plants to grow together. Once you have your list, it’s time to get your child involved.
Research and Choose Your Plants
Explain each of the plants on your list to your child. One danger of including your child in a slow activity gardening is that they will get bored and be turned off from the whole thing. Help them to understand the process of how a plant grows roots, sprouts, etc. The key is to read how your child is enjoying the process; if he is bored, move on to the next, more hands-on step.
Describe the colors and smells that will come from flowers. If you have planted fruits or vegetables, identify the same kind when you next eat them.
Visit a Local Garden
A perfect way to inspire your kids to take up gardening is to take them on a visit to an actual public garden. They can see all of the colorful plants and begin to understand the beauty and inspiration plant life can provide.
If you don’t have a public garden nearby, you should visit your local garden nursery and have them tell you what stands out to them the most. You might see that they are most interested in plants you can easily grow in your back yard.
Keep Them Involved in the Process
The main key is to let your children have fun. Make sure to involve them in the hands-on work. For example, digging up soil, adding fertilizer, planting seeds and adding water can all be done quite efficiently by a child. Keep an eye over their shoulder and explain each step carefully as they go. Don’t get too picky; if they start to play around, that’s okay! This should be fun!
Give Them Responsibilities
Let them maintain the easy plants to give them a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. If you like, plant each child his own garden. Allow them to care for those plants that only require some water and some sunshine, then move them to more and more complicated plants.