Gardening with kids is a great way to get the whole family involved in exploring nature while having fun and learning new skills. Gardening helps teach children about science and can be a wonderful bonding experience for parents and their children. As a bonus, you can harvest fruits and veggies and enjoy the rewards of your hard work. Here are a few helpful tips for gardening with children.
Gardening with Kids Isn’t Just About Plants
To get kids excited about gardening, use a magnifying glass to explore the micro-world of soil and plants. Your pint-sized gardeners may find worms, ants, beetle larvae, and tiny spiders. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the vital roles these creatures play in an ecosystem. If you discover things, you cannot identify, research with your kids to learn about them together.
Choose Appropriate Plants
Select appropriate plants for the level of care and interest your children can provide. Certain vegetables like carrots, peas, beans, and corn grow quickly and can be fun for young children to tend. Herbs make great container plants – they’re easy to manage and smell wonderful. If you’re looking for something more challenging, try perennials like asparagus that require care year-round.
Give Your Kids Gardening Tasks
While kids may be enthusiastic about gardening, they often need guidance and direction. Give them specific tasks they can take ownership of, like watering the plants or removing weeds. As your children get older, add things like feeding plants with fertilizer and pruning for shape.
Encourage Exploration and Creativity While Gardening with Kids
One of the joys of gardening is that there’s always something new to learn. Allow children to explore and make connections between what you’ve taught them and what they see in nature. Encourage them to use their imaginations to create art with plants, like weaving daisy chains, pressing flowers to preserve them, or making colorful bouquets from wildflowers. Give them an area of the garden where they can design the layout and plant flowers or herbs in their own way.
Don’t be Afraid of Failure
Kids learn a lot from failure. When their plants don’t thrive, or they get a little too aggressive with the pruning shears, it’s an opportunity to teach them about patience, resilience, and coping with disappointment. As their garden mentor, you guide your children in finding solutions that work for the garden. Ultimately, it’s about the learning process, and the garden is a low-stakes area to take risks and learn from mistakes.
Gardening is an enriching experience for the whole family. Get your kids involved in the process. They will have fun and learn valuable lessons along the way.