Spring has sprung, the flowers are blooming, and the sun is shining.
There is no better way than to spend quality time with the family than doing a bit of gardening and spend time in the outdoors.
Not only does it promote healthy living but also an appreciation for nature and providing them with good work ethics from a young age. This activity also teaches them to be patient while waiting for their crops to grow and the benefit of eating sustainable and organic produce.
- Building self-confidence
- Providing them with moderate exercise
- Developing STEM and analytical abilities
- Improving focus and memory
- Relieving stress
- Impacting mood and psychological well-being in a positive way
But how does one get them to be excited about starting their own little garden?
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Here are a few ways to easily get kids to do gardening:
Tell them stories
You can start by telling or reading them stories like “Jack and the beanstalk” or find children books that involves something to do with gardening.
- If you plant a seed by Kadir Nelson is a great example of a story that demonstrates the process of growing seeds and teaches them that a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.
- How does your garden grow by Laura F. Marsh is a great book teaching children all the principles of choosing the right ingredients, how to prepare the soil and how all things need to be protected, cared for and given time to grow.
Assign them their own garden plot
Kids love having their own space and overseeing and maintaining it. Assign a garden plot to them and mark it with a nice border. You can get creative by placing pebbles around the edge or different shaped and sized rocks that they’ve selected themselves. Make sure that the space is not too big and limit the time spend in the garden or else they will lose interest and it will not feel like a fun activity anymore, but just another chore. Help them to prepare the soil as this part can be tricky. Allow them to assist you with the process of mixing the compost and the soil until you get a moist and light consistency.
You can find this beautiful selection of garden pebbles from the Aquarium range at amazon.com.
Another great idea is to decorate the garden with cute little ceramic stakes, interesting characters or friendly garden gnomes.
Let this be a tranquil spot that your child wants to revisit and make their own place of relaxation and tranquillity.
Buy them their own garden tools
Buy them their own set of garden tools specially made for small hands. Make sure you include a hand rake, shovel, hoe, trowel and watering can or sprinkler. You can also buy extra accessories like garden gloves or an apron with pockets.
- This 7-Piece all-in-one Innocheer kids garden tool set is a great example of durable and strong garden tools that will keep your little one gardening for years to come.
This tool kit includes a kid-sized rake, gardening gloves, shovel, hand trowel, watering can and a super cute carrier tote bag.
- This 16-Piece garden wagon and tools toy set for kids by Liberty Imports includes a wagon, 8 gardening tools, 4 pots, water pail and watering can. This toy is great for gardening as well as the beach which makes this item versatile and practical.
Let them choose seedlings and seeds
Take them with you to the nursery to select special plants or seeds that they can plant themselves. Planting vegetables is a great idea, as some of them are easy to grow and will harvest quickly. Make sure you do the research about which veggies are the best to grow in your area. And remember to get your hands dirty. Don’t be shy to get in there with them. The idea is to have fun and kids love getting dirty.
Children will learn all about yard care and gardening tips through working in the garden.
Be creative when designing. Use old tyres to plant flowers in or do different tiers for different plants or vegetables. Make your own signs with craft sticks to mark the different sections or paint flat rocks or pebbles with pictures or names. You can even get the kids to make little pathways with pebbles or fences. The possibilities are endless if they have fun.
Don’t present gardening maintenance as a chore. Make it fun by involving other kids when pulling out weeds or watering the sprouts. Sing songs and work side by side. This is great for bonding and will be your special time for doing something that you both can enjoy. Kids that enjoy gardening from a young age will be more likely to do so when they are adults. You can make it more rewarding by giving them a special treat if they are doing a good job at maintaining their gardens.
Picking the fruits of their labour
Let them enjoy the fruits of their labour by allowing them to prepare a meal with their harvests. This can be a great way to get them to eat their veggies or to try something new. Kids will be less reluctant to try something that they’ve grown themselves.
Encouraging your young children from an early age to appreciate the outdoors and to enjoy gardening will teach them an array of valuable life lessons.
Gardening provides children with knowledge of different plants, flowers and seeds and what they need to grow. It teaches them new skills, good work ethics, patience and being social by doing an activity with the whole family.
It is a rewarding experience to do an activity from scratch, doing the preparations from the beginning and seeing the fruits of your labour in the end. Children also learn to eat healthy and spend time outdoors.