Suggest gardening to your children or grandchildren as a fun activity, and you’ll probably be preparing for them to laugh in disbelief or roll their eyes at you. But the truth is, kids have a lot to gain by getting stuck into gardening. It’s educational, exciting and humbling, and instead of passively observing nature, they get to be a part of it. Not only that, it will also give them a better understanding of our ecosystem, hopefully giving them a desire to nurture and protect it. Read on to see how you can give your kids (or grandkids) green fingers.
Start with storytime
It’s a good idea to spark their enthusiasm with a story. Books can often plant the seeds of excitement for kids and get them inspired by certain things. Try stories about magical, enchanted gardens or ones that portray garden animals as characters. The stories could also focus on planting different vegetables or capture the rewarding, fulfilling process of gardening. There are many classic children stories with the theme of gardens, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland or The Secret Garden to name a few.
Designate special areas for them
It’s a good idea to allocate your children a small, manageable space that belongs just to them. Not only will this concentrated area of garden be easier to focus on, but they can plant the vegetables and plants of their choosing. This will also encourage feelings of independence and responsibility, and hopefully, help them to be proud of their space. Make sure you choose a space that is easily accessible for your children to avoid them walking all over your vegetable patch!
Choose inspiring plants
A great way to spark your children’s interest is encouraging them to grow bright and colourful plants. Sunflowers, poppies and marigolds are relatively easy to grow from seed, as well as being eye-catching colours. Sensory plants are also inspiring for children. Try planting a Love-in-a-Mist, a bright blue flower that forms puffy seed-heads that rattle when shaken. Sweetcorn also makes a rustling noise and is delicious to eat too. In terms of touch, try Lamb’s Ears for a silky foliage or African Sundews which form a sticky glue. You can also try delicious tasting plants like spearmint, wild strawberries, rosemary or chives.
Get them their own garden tools
A good way to get your children involved in the garden is to buy them some gardening equipment of their own. You could get them their own watering can, some brightly coloured gloves, or their own set of garden tools like our 3-Piece Garden Set which includes the essentials: Hand Trowel, Hand Fork and Daisy Grubber. Another good idea is to get some garden markers so they can remember what they’ve planted where – whether it be tomatoes, cauliflower or beetroot!
Encourage them to keep a gardening journal
A really nice idea is to keep a written, photographic or even illustrated journal documenting the progress of the plants, flowers or vegetables. This is not only a sensible way to record the process of gardening, but it will make a great keepsake that they can be proud of.
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