Fresh air; sunshine; hands-on fun; dirt; laughter… time spent in the garden is golden. Especially for children. It’s not only fun and therapeutic, gardening also has amazing effects on children’s mental and physical development. It engages all the senses, encourages them to take up responsibility, teaches them about nature and can even promote healthy eating habits. With the plethora of technology available to children today, too many of them spend far too much time in front of screens. Getting them outside and involved with nature has never been more important.
As we know, children love spending time with their parents. If your child sees you spending time and finding pleasure in gardening, it’s more than likely that they’ll want to help. Here are our top 5 tips for making gardening an exciting and enjoyable experience for children:
Give them Space
Dedicate a special area to your child for their personal garden. Whether it’s a raised bed, a section of your own garden or a series of pots, let them take care of it themselves and decorate it how they like. Encourage them to plant flowers, herbs, and vegetables that grow quickly – children don’t like to wait too long for results!!
There’s nothing like their very own set of gardening tools to encourage children to head outdoors! Children’s gardening tools are readily available from gardening or department stores and are specially designed for little hands. Gloves that actually fit, watering cans that aren’t too heavy when full, trowels and rakes that are small and light – little people need little equipment.
- Happy Harvest
When it comes time to pick your produce, let your children join in. Encourage them to try the vegetables/fruits they have grown and discuss different ways of preparing and serving them. If you have been blessed with an excess of produce, allow them the privilege of giving some away to friends or family – this is a sure-fire way to make them feel good about what they’ve achieved!
Keep it Positive
Like anything in life, gardening has its boring bits. However, you can turn weeding and watering chores into fun times by chatting and singing with your child while you work. Take every opportunity to teach your little one about nature and discuss each stage of plant growth, sharing their excitement and pleasure at each stage.
- Include some Creativity
Why not stretch your child’s creative ability by making a scarecrow or painting their planter pots? After all, gardening isn’t only about planting, weeding and watering – it’s about getting outside and having fun!
Children have a strong connection with nature, and involving them in gardening is a necessary and enjoyable experience for both parent and child. It teaches them basic life skills such as patience, care, cooperation, and responsibility while promoting a love of nature and boosting self confidence. The outdoors is a magical world that children deserve to be part of, and as responsible parents, it’s our duty to involve and share’s nature’s secrets with them.