Gardening is a beautiful interest to spark in your kids. In today’s hectic, always-connected digital world, with all the unique pressures of things like social media that our children are growing up with, it’s something simple and real. Being connected to nature and our environment is a gift that can support physical and mental wellbeing, as well as spark interest in other topics, such as the environment, wildlife and food preparation. Having said that, as gardening is inherently a slow process, involving plenty of patience – not something children are generally renowned for. So how do you create that initial interest and allow your kids to discover the joy of getting involved with the garden?
Choose Some Easy To Plant Items
Get kids involved by choosing some small, easy to plant flowers or vegetables that they can get involved with – things like sunflowers, tomatoes or marigolds are always good to start off with. Explain to them what a plant needs to grow. You can also purchase children’s gardening tools which are easier for them to hold. Ask them to help with raking the soil, removing weeds, planting seedlings and keeping their plants watered. These simple tasks will help them to grow their confidence.
Create A Playground Outside
A love of gardening starts with just getting children outside to play more. If they have a warm fleece lined waterproof outdoors suit and a pair of wellies then slightly inclement weather shouldn’t be an obstacle. Create a lawn area and keep it well mown by sourcing a mower from a specialist supplier like Mowers Online, so they have a space to run around and play. Don’t be afraid to let them get a little dirty by creating a mud kitchen or simply jumping in some puddles. You could also plan a day trip to a famous garden such as a National Trust property or somewhere like Kew Gardens to get them inspired about what they could plant themselves – and keep a look out for gardens abroad when you travel.
Get Them Growing
Getting kids to grow vegetables is a great step – they really enjoy getting to eat something that they’ve grown themselves, and it can be a great way to get them to eat more vegetables as well! Even if you don’t have much space, many things like potatoes, lettuce, peas and tomatoes can be grown in a bag. They could even grow mushrooms using special Spray and Grow Kits– an easy way to grow healthy and edible mushrooms all year round. To grow vegetables, simply pick up a bag of quality soil – some varieties even come with added fertiliser – and cut a rectangular hole in the top, leaving a border like a picture frame to hold the soil in place. Cut a few holes in the bottom for drainage too. Then have the kids help add in seedlings or seeds, cover over with soil and keep well watered. Seeing their own fresh vegetables coming up from tiny seeds into a full-grown plant that they can eat will spark their interest and get them longing to garden in no time.
Keep It Interesting
Keep children’s interest in the garden going by making a fun game of tasks like raking up leaves, picking fruit and keeping plants watered. You could also try a sticker chart to reward them for helping out. Enjoy your time together and make it something that you share together, and you’ll be giving them a gift for life.