I’ve been messing around in my garden a lot these days. Mostly experimenting with things – see what I can grow and what I just…can’t. Some things I don’t have the knack for, that’s for sure! But right now I’m doing REALLY well with herbs and tomatoes and pineapples! I think my love of gardening probably stemmed (no pun intended, ha!) from my mom. When I was in elementary school, my dad created a big garden for my mom and sister and I. Mom was homeschooling us at the time, and used the garden as a special project for our science lessons. We thought it was totally cool when our veggies made it to the dinner table! Even now, if you go to my parents house, you’ll find a HUGE garden behind their home. While mine is nothing like that yet, I’m enjoying working on it! So when author Heather Roberts contacted me with a past about how to garden with your kids, I loved the idea! Nope, no kids here at my house yet, but I know so many of YOU are moms – so let’s see what great ideas Heather has for us! Digging in the dirt and making mud pies are favorite activities of many young children. Why not turn this activity into a long-lasting love for nature? Gardening can offer various benefits, such as fostering the emotional, cognitive and social development of children. It will provide your child with various skills, creativity and an understanding for nurturing. They will gain sense of responsibility, cooperation, self – confidence and appreciation for the hard work. Start early by encouraging your little one to keep in touch with nature. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced gardener or an aspiring enthusiast. You can learn with your child! When introducing your kiddo to gardening, there is only one rule – you need to make it fun. The best strategy is to divide the work into small and manageable projects and for short periods. Kids can easily get distracted or bored. Change the chores frequently to keep your child engaged. In this way you will preserve their positive attitude towards garden maintenance. Perform the garden clearance before going outside with your children. There might be sharp or other dangerous items that constitute risk for your kids. During the clearance, you can also get rid of things that you no longer need or find new application to other stuff. For instance, old clothes you’ve been hanging on to are ideal for working in the muddy backyard. Give your kids their own gardening area. They will feel more attached and responsible when they have their own space. It can be anything from a container all the way to a small plot. You can even use their old sandbox and turn it into a garden bed. Use the sand as a base and add garden soil above it! Equip your child with proper gardening tools. The plastic items are for play and are not appropriate for garden tasks. Instead, you can give them small hand tools, like garden trowels and short-handled rakes and spades. Involve your little gardener in every aspect of the process, like planning the area and selecting the seeds. When you grow your items from seeds instead of from plants, your child can observe the full process and will learn more. Growing indoors is a great starting point. Obtain some dried seeds and plant them according to their need. For example, beans should be placed between two wet sheets, while citrus seeds should be placed in a rich and moist soil. Take a little time to research, along with your kids!
Discuss with your children what type of plants they might want. Kids often opt for vegetables as a first gardening project. Their choice might depend strongly on the looks and colour of the greenery. It’s better to get easy-to-grow plants that will germinate quickly, because children can be impatient sometimes. The faster they see the result, the more excited they will be. The youngsters enjoy being the centre of attention and sharing what’s important to them. Let them show off their abilities and achievements by presenting their garden to friends and relatives. Encourage them to talk about their garden. For more gardening and landscaping ideas: visit our website. Great ideas, Heather! I never thought about planting things that germinate quickly so the kids don’t get bored – good point! Do YOU garden with your kids? Do you garden at all? If you could have any kind of garden, what kind would it be?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!