Gardening and children are a perfect fit. Children love being outside and playing in the dirt. Most are fascinated by plants and flowers, so why not teach them to garden where they can learn about a plant’s life cycle firsthand? There are many benefits to gardening with children. It’s the perfect way to teach them about responsibility, healthy foods and respect for the environment. This has been recognized by many schools across the country, who are incorporating gardening in their curriculum. (Learn more about programs and find great resources for gardening with children at Kids Gardening.)
So how do you encourage your children to garden without making it a chore? I think the most important thing is for them to see how much you love gardening and spend a little time with you in the garden every day. Here are a few more tips for gardening with your children.
- Let them have their own garden or area - a space that is all their own. Their age will dictate how much you will need to help out with the watering and weeding, but try not to take over.
- Allow them to choose the plants, but steer them towards those that are easy to grow - Lettuces, cherry tomatoes, potatoes and carrots are few favorites. And no child’s garden is complete without quick growing, sunny sunflowers!
- Start from seed - children enjoy watching seeds sprout up from the soil and they learn so much more than starting from seedling.
- Have fun! Make time for digging holes and inspecting insects. Don’t forget to express how proud you are of their hard work. Be sure to show off their garden when guests visit your home.
How do you get your children involved with gardening?
Photo by tm-tm
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