Gardening is fun for us adults and is very destressing as we become one with nature and nurture green life with our own hands. Likewise, gardening also is an important life skill for kids as it teaches them to take care of something from scratch and also gives them an unmatched opportunity to understand the environment as they explore nature. It’s also an effective way to increase their physical activity and the best part is, they will relish what they have grown. So, if your fussy eater is not eating those veggies or greens, make them grow it. They are very likely to gulp it down with all happiness. This way they will also know that food is grown and comes from soil and not in paper bags from a super-market.
When to start gardening with kids
There is never a right age to get your kids downright muddy and dirty in gardening. When they are babies, take them with you while watering the plants. Later on, start talking to them about various plants that you have, about the colors in the flowers and vegetables that have grown. This way you will be able to garner their interest into gardening. And as your child grows, allow him/her to water the small plants and take care of them. Assign a single plant and make your child responsible to water and nurture it. Trust me your kids will do a fantastic job at it.
6 Benefits of Gardening with kids
- Children connect with nature.
- They learn to be patient as they watch the seeds grow.
- It makes them feel responsible for their plant health.
- They learn to nurture and take care.
- They learn about the growth cycle of a plant.
- Best of all, they will learn to respect the environment.
Tips to gardening with kids
Start with seeds: From flowering plants to kitchen garden, everything is available readily grown in a nursey. But for kids, make sure to start from seeds. The care given to the seeds as they sprout and grow is a wonderful leaning experience in itself for the kids.
Give them tools: You do get small plastic tools for kids to use. Make them have their own set of shovels, spade, gloves and a can to water the plants. If need be, allow them to use your tools, this way you are also acknowledging the work that they do, and they feel much more motivated to continue.
Assign them their own plants: You may have an entire flowerbed and many pots in your garden but have a dedicated pot and a spot only for your child. Keep it small and place it such that it gets the desired sunlight and is easy for your child to water it and see it grow too. Make sure to use good soil and seeds so that the results are good, and your kids feel motivated.
Get them involved throughout the process: Making your kids sow some seeds as an activity for a day and then not nurturing it will make them feel like gardening is an ideal play. Once your kids have sowed the seeds, make them responsible for the survival of the plant. From pot to plate and the entire process in between, should be your child’s duty.
Help them: As the plants grow, teach and help your child to take care of it. If the soil needs to be moved or shuffled, show them how it’s done. Teach them to prune the plants when the time is right and to remove those weeds. Don’t leave your child alone, be around to guide them.
Make it interesting: There are many available in the market and online to decorate the pots like small mushrooms or small stick butterflies to put in the pot to make it look attractive. You can also set up the garden area by lighting it up a bit. Color or decorate the pots before sowing in them. Make labels with the name of the plant and place it in the pot.
Show off: When you have guest at home, flaunt what your child has grown. If you are serving them food from the veggies harvested by your child, make sure to mention it. Take picture of their plants and flowers and share it with your family and friends. The attention you give to your child’s labor motivates them to do more.
Planting is an activity that the whole family can enjoy and as much as kids love seeing a new life spring from a seed, I am not wrong when I say, they enjoy getting messy and dirty too. You get to spend quality time with your children, and you are also giving them a hobby which could last them a lifetime.
So get your hands messy with your kids as you sow, water, watch, weed and wait as the plant grows.
Our annual trip to our farm where kids help to pluck the harvest and sort them too. These images belong to http://www.mummatalks.blog and any form of reuse is not permitted.
From farm to plate. Okra grown in our farm was plucked by the kids and freshly cooked and served later on. These images belong to http://www.mummatalks.blog and any form of reuse is not permitted.
This post is part of Blogchatter’s Causeachatter.