How to Encourage Your Child to Love Gardening
There are many different activities one can do with their children outside but not all are as rewarding as gardening.
Developing a love for gardening is something most enthusiastic gardeners wish to pass on to their children or grandchildren. There are some simple steps to consider when introducing gardening to your children.
Gardening can teach children many different qualities and valuable skills such as, patience, love for nature, persistence, art of nature, maths, colours, life cycles, plus much more. Gardening can also be a relaxing and calming activity, one which requires quiet and attention to detail for your garden to grow.
When you feel it is time to introduce gardening to your children, start small and age appropriate. You wouldn't just hand them a shovel at 2 and say 'start digging'. Purchase some garden gloves, spades and rakes for their size and set aside their own garden bed for them to attend to. Allow them to take ownership over their space. Allow them to water their garden each day and check on their progress. By allowing them to take charge of their own space increases their interest in the process as they get to control what happens in their garden.
Ask them for ideas on what veggies to plant, start with vegetables they know and then introduce some more. Take them to a seedling farm or hardware store to purchase seeds. One of the best ways to encourage your child to eat different vegetables is from their very own garden. Be sure to plant some fast growing seeds as well, to ensure your children do not lose interest in the project.
When planning the space for children ensure that the space is accessible for them. Not too wide or long, not to high, clear pathways around the garden bed and use only organic produce and fertilizers (keep chemicals away from your produce for your children and your own health's sake).
Lastly, just have fun with it. Gardening should be a relaxing time. Allow them to experiment and make mistakes. Let them learn from over watering or under watering, stepping on produce, digging up vegetables too early, etc. This is a great outdoor activity for children to learn about the seasons, bugs, birds, different types of vegetables, plus much more outdoor fun.
Always supervise your child whilst they are outdoors and gardening and enjoy this precious time with them amongst nature.