It’s always recommended to let your kids have outdoor activities frequently. Starting a garden with them is a great idea to keep them away from the screens, help them learn different skills, and have fun at the same time. However, teaching a small child about gardening is not always easy. It will require your time, patience, and some tricks as well. Don’t worry, here are our tips to help you guide your kids into gardening.
Give Your Kids Their Own Garden Beds
Whether you use containers, raised beds, or ground plots, be sure to give your kids their own separate plot. Of course, their bed doesn’t have to be in normal size. You should keep it small or very small for young kids. Put their plots right in the middle of the action, with the best soil and light. Doing this will set them up for success.
Your Child’s Sandbox Can be Reused
If your kids used to love the sandbox but they have grown past their sandbox years, upcycling their sandbox to a garden bed will be a great idea. Doing this will give your child continued ownership of a familiar space. They will feel much more responsible for the gardening project. A productive garden bed needs to be in good sunlight and soil should be free of tree roots. Therefore you should check if the growing conditions are ideal or else you may have to relocate the sandbox.
Give Them Proper Gardening Tools
Don expect that your kids will take the gardening works seriously if you don’t give them serious tools. You may think that cheap plastic child’s gardening tools are good for the little gardeners. In fact, they are worse than no tools at all as they break easily and will frustrate the user. Of course, it may be hard to locate good tools for kids, especially work gloves that fit those tiny hands. With some garden tools, like a hoe or spade, you can easily saw the handle shorter for the kids. You can also let them use your tools sometimes, just make sure to guide them properly to avoid any injuries. In this way, your baby will acknowledge the importance of the work they’re doing.
Let Them Start Gardening From Seeds
Choosing suitable crops for the little gardeners may be troublesome for you. A lot of parents take a convenient shortcut to buy starters for their kids. However, you should let your baby learn more by seeing the growing process as it begins, from seed. The care that they give to sprouting seeds and nurturing the young seedling are a valuable part of the gardening experience. Seeds will need to be started indoors in a warm room and once sprouted they can be transplanted into pots until ready to set out, or they can be placed into a cold frame which is set on top of the garden bed.
Let Your Baby Engage In Entire Gardening Process
Children learn better when they understand the context of their activities. Therefore, you should engage them in the entire gardening process, from seed to table. They will learn that gardening can be fun and they are contributing to their family well-being. Besides planting and nurturing their garden beds, make sure that you let them alone do the harvesting and preparation of their crop for the table, no matter how modest the offering.
Cheat a Little
Letting your baby engage in the entire gardening process does not mean that you let them do everything by themself. Depending on the age of the child, you may need to help out a little behind the scenes. Not every garden task is pleasant, and the child may not be ready at all times for all chores. You may need to go out in the evening to pick a few slugs off the lettuce or be the one to run out and move the sprinkler. They don’t have to know about every little help you offer: the child’s ‘ownership’ of the plot is the main thing.
When All Else Fails, Make a Scarecrow
The best time to engage children in gardening is when they’re in the mood for this activity. If their attention wanes, or the garden tasks become boring, let them build a scarecrow. This activity is still a contribution to the gardening effort and adds another layer of interest to the garden scene. It also reminds the child of the importance of garden crops.
Show Off Their Work
When giving garden tours to friends, don’t forget to point out the children’s beds. Take a photo of their harvest and share it on social media or send it to the grandparents. By doing this you will give huge attention to your little gardener’s work. It surely will put a smile on their face and it is the best motivator for them to stay involved with gardening.
So those are our tips to guide your kids about gardening. Do you have any other tips that you want to share? Or do you have any questions? Please let us know in the comments!