If you love gardening, then you will probably want your kids to get involved too. Gardening with kids is fun and introduces them to important skills such as patience, persistence, and discipline. It is also a way to get them connected to nature. They get to learn basic skills and develop an appreciation for how things grow while being thrilled with seeing the rewards of their labor. The first thing to keep in mind is the age of the child. Children are impatient, especially the younger they are. They will want to see quick results, so you want to introduce them to gardening with quick-growing plants such as tomatoes or sunflowers. Once you have decided on the plant, there are some helpful things to keep in mind.
Gardening With Kids
- Give them ownership: Give them their own plots so they can be in charge of what they grow. The more responsible they think they are, the more interest they will have. The size of the plot needs to match the child’s age such as a container garden for very small children. You can help them with weeding and watering as needed.
- Involve them gradually: At first, they may only be interested in certain parts of the gardening process. Planting seeds is always a popular task, so start with this. Then you can introduce them gradually to other tasks like watering, removing pests, and harvesting. As your child gets older, they will become more interested in all tasks and then you can increase their plot size and responsibilities.
- Have safety measures: Make sure the plot you have for your child is close to the house and somewhere you can easily monitor. Give them the proper tools that are an appropriate size for them to use safely and only allow them to use tools under supervision. Make sure they are not exposed to any chemical fertilizers or pesticides by keeping them out of reach or choosing to have an organic garden.
- Plan the garden beds: The ideal size for a child garden bed is four feet wide. This way they can easily reach all sides and the middle. Make sure there is space between the beds for them to move around especially for younger children who may not have the best balance and coordination yet.
- Be flexible: In order to keep children interested and enjoying gardening, let them choose their plants. Let them make mistakes too. If they step on plants or pull them up accidentally along with the weeds, this is okay. It is all part of the learning. Children need to be supervised but should also be given the freedom to take care of their garden. This way they will truly enjoy the rewards at the end of their hard work.
Gardening is a great teaching tool for kids. Children love the outdoors and getting dirty, and this teaches valuable skills and lessons. You can introduce them to different plants, insects, and birds and they can get real hands-on learning about nature.