Many parents try to tempt their children…
into participating in gardening, but how many actually succeed?
Although kids enjoy getting dirty, they will shy away from working in a garden if it feels like a chore.
To get your children excited about constructing a garden, you will need to make the task fun.
It’s easy to encourage children and get them enthused about creating their very own special plot in nature.
Give Your Child Ownership
If you want your child to remain interested in a garden, make it his or hers from the beginning. Let your child name the garden and craft a sign to place in the dirt near the plot.
This provides an instant feeling of importance. Section off the garden with paving stones, and place the patch where it can be easily viewed.
Give your child his or her own gardening tools as well. As you guide your child through the process, allow for mistakes. Figuring out how to deal with accidents is an important lesson for all kids.
If your child wants to plant seeds haphazardly, give him or her the chance to see what will happen.
Don’t rush into saying something cannot be done. Instead, offer another option, and explain why one idea may be better than another.
Let your child make most of the decisions about what to plant, where to place seeds and how to design the overall look of the garden.
If a child is fully invested in a project, the desire to stick with it increases. Encourage your child to look for the little surprises associated with gardening.
This may be a ladybug hiding underneath a leaf or a carrot leaf peeking through the ground.
Keep it Simple
The best way to keep your child interested in his or her garden is to simplify things. A complicated patch filled with vegetables that are difficult to grow will discourage little minds.
Take things in small steps, and remind your child occasionally that plants take time to grow. This will teach patience as well as foster enthusiasm as your child waits to see results.
Rather than allowing your child grab any seeds that look interesting, let him or her select from packets that you offer. Stick with varieties that don’t need a lot of maintenance.
Present an assortment of options, and include flowers in the mix. Brightly colored blooms such as a snapdragons, lavender plants, marigolds, zinnias and sunflowers are all ideal for children.
Choose from seeds as well as plants that are beginning to bud.
Certain vegetables are easier to grow and require little work, which include:
- green beans
Help Children Stay Focused
Children have short attention spans, and this can lead to boredom quickly. To keep things fresh, you have to continually energize your child’s curiosity.
With each step, point out the magic of nature. Get your child excited about pulling up a leaf to discover what is hidden beneath the dirt, or encourage him or her to smell and feel the plants.
lace a special bench near the garden so you can both watch the progress.
Let your child dig in the dirt, plant seeds, water the plots, take measurements and pull plants. Plan a schedule, and use a sticker chart for each task.
This will keep your child interested in completing the next step. As certain flowers blossom, you can cut the blooms and place them around the house to boost your child’s sense of pride.
Plant a variety items that will keep the garden fascinating all season. Let your child take pictures or draw in a journal. He or she can also hypothesize on how each plant may look once it’s matured.
As time goes by, patience wears thin, and little fingers may want to start pulling plants. As a distraction, you can let your child sample smaller vegetables and compare them to the fully developed ones.
Educate While Entertaining
Turning a gardening project into an experiment not only feeds your child’s mind, it sparks interest. Teach about biology through composting experiments, and give lessons on math and nutrition as you pull and eat each vegetable.
Stage a competition between two plants to see which grows quicker or taller. You can also compare the tastes, smells, textures and appearance of different plants.
If you celebrate the revelations your child experiences, he or she will be more willing to participate. As the garden grows, it’s important to complete the process by cutting flowers or pulling vegetables and eating them.
If you want more suggestions on how to involve children in gardening, contact Install It Direct. Join our mailing list for insider deals and tips on a number of outdoor projects.