Exposing children to the amazing world of gardening is full of benefits. Children seem to have a natural love for gardening and instinctively seem to enjoy digging in mud, finding earthworms and bugs in the soil and picking flowers. Children are exposed to the world of science, nature and the environment.
Gardening with children can be as simple as encouraging them to hand water plants through to designing and maintaining their own little pot/s or plot of garden.
When designing a plot for children, ensure they are involved in the design process. This gives the child a sense of ownership, which is important. Ask for your child’s opinion throughout the whole process and anticipate teachable moments.
Children can start with a pen and paper and create a design.
If you don’t explain why you’re creating compost, or digging holes, or watering plants, children may just see this as work and not appreciate the benefits of gardening. Reinforce personal responsibility.
Ensure you choose plants or seedlings that give a quick reward. Children will lose interest pretty quickly if they don’t see a noticeable change in the plant. Choose plants that will succeed.
Children seem to choose vegetables over other plants. This is great, for it opens up so many more avenues for learning. Children can learn the importance of healthy eating and are more likely to eat vegetables if they’ve grown them themselves. Popular vegetable choices include lettuce, potatoes, peas, carrots, cucumbers and zucchinis.
Think like a kid. Children like extremes. Rainbow chard, massive yellow sunflowers and purple carrots can blow a kid’s mind!