10 Ways To Get Your Kids In The Garden
Gardening with kids is an easy way to have them get some exercise and learn about plants, too. There are many ways in which you can make gardening fun for kids. The first is to help them with the various tasks that need to be done. Perhaps they would enjoy watering the plants, digging a hole, or just weeding. Here are the 10 ways you can get your kids into the garden.
1) Start Small
You want your garden to be a place where you spend time with your kids, not just a place they spend time in. To do that, you might need to start small. That doesn't mean you have to plant just a few plants or try container gardening. Start small by finding one activity your kids enjoy doing in the garden and find a way to incorporate that into their normal routine. Even if it's just once a day, try to get them working side-by-side with you as often as possible.
2) Try a Single Plot
One way to get your kids involved in the garden is to plant something they adore. If they like strawberries, plant them. If they love tomatoes, plant them. Not only will it give you a chance to work together; and for the kids to be impressed by your knowledge of plants; but also it will give you as parents something to share with your kids when friends come over. You can tell your friends what to expect with the berries, or where they're likely to be on a given tomato plant.
3) Get Them Involved
The best way for kids to learn about plants and gardening is by doing. Kids are like sponges for learning, and they'll learn more by applying their knowledge than just hearing about it. When you're in the garden this summer or fall, let your kids help dig holes, water the plants (with supervision), and transplant seedlings. Let them pick something to plant (and harvest the food from that).Protect your child's tiny hands from dirt, potting mix, insects, etc., by ensuring that they wear gardening gloves.
4) Build on what you know - start with your own yard!
The best way to get kids excited about gardening is to get them involved in the process from start to finish. If you have a backyard or even just a small plot of land, there are plenty of ways for you and your kids to have some fun with plants this year (or next!) while also teaching them something about gardening along the way.
5) Take It Slow
Limit the size of your garden until you know what sort of work it will take to maintain. If you're just starting out in a new location, with kids and time constraints, try keeping things simple for the first season or two until you get your bearings. You can go bigger next year!
6) Avoid using chemicals in your garden
As a parent, it's important to teach your kids about pesticides and how they can harm the environment. Don't think that you're providing a healthy environment for your children by using chemicals. In fact, many of the pesticides used are harmful to children and can have long-term effects on their health. Teaching them about these things at a young age will help them to be more aware of environmental issues throughout their lives. There are also plenty of ways to provide an organic garden without using pesticides--just take some time getting to know your plants and what they need in order to grow well. Teaching kids about gardening is an excellent way to help them develop a sense of responsibility for the environment and other living creatures around us.
7) Introduce kids to new cultures by planting different types of herbs and vegetables.
There are all sorts of different kinds of plants that can be grown in the garden. And while that may be a bit overwhelming at first, it's important to realize that your kids don't need to know everything--just enough to get them excited about learning. Planting some basic herbs and vegetables will teach them about the different cultures around the world. Introduce your kids to new cultures by introducing them to a variety of herbs and vegetables.
8) Show them how you preserve your harvest by canning or freezing it.
And that's not all: kids can also learn about the preservation process by watching you do it. Whether you decide to can your vegetables and fruits or freeze them, teaching them about the process will make them more likely to understand the importance of preserving food and what quality fresh produce they're getting.
9) Teach Them The Names Of Plants And Animals
When adults talk with other adults about gardening, one of the first things we often ask is, "What's growing?" Teaching kids not only what's growing but where these things come from will start them on a journey of discovery that could make them into life-long learners and possibly future scientists. One way to teach these names is to have your child point out a plant and then fill in the blanks. "That's an ________________." You can help them out with the first one or two (or you could let them guess) but eventually, they'll get the hang of it and these memory-training methods will start to stick with them.
10) Use A Garden Journal To Record What You Find
Another way that your kids can learn from what they find in your garden is by having a journal to record what they observe. Keeping a garden journal is easy, especially if you have young kids who aren't quite ready for penmanship yet. All you need is some paper and some crayons or markers, along with prompts like: when did we see this? where were we standing?
"I hope this article has given you some ideas for how you can introduce your kids to gardening. There's really no better way to teach responsibility than through gardening, especially if you have a child that is a reluctant helper when it comes to household chores."