Many parents try to get their kids to help them in the garden, but not many succeed. Although we all know that kids enjoy playing in the dirt, they won’t want to work in the garden if they think they’re being forced to do their chores.
Talking excitedly about the garden will spark your children’s interest, looking at books and telling them what fun a garden can be will stoke their imagination and if you play your cards right your kids will actually beg you to let them help out! To get them truly excited about gardening, you’ll have to make it fun. With these tips, you’ll be able to get your children enthused about having a garden all their own.
- Let them own it. If you want to get them interested and keep them that way, let it be theirs from the very beginning. Allow them to name it, if they wish, and help them make a sign to put up near the garden. This will provide them with a feeling of importance, as will giving them a set of child-sized gardening tools.
- As you guide them through the process, mistakes will happen; allowing them to figure out how to deal with them is a learning experience for both of you. Let them make most of the decisions― if they’re invested in a project, they’re more likely to stick with it.
- Keep it fairly simple. An easy way to help your child retain an interest in gardening is to stick with easy-to-grow plants. Take the process in small steps, reminding your child that it can take time to grow. Rather than letting them grab random seeds off the rack, pick a few that you know will do well, and allow them to choose a few that look interesting.
- Choose vegetables that are easier to grow, such as carrots, radishes, potatoes, green beans, and spinach. Some children have short attention spans, and can get bored quickly; choosing fast-growing, low-maintenance plants will help to keep boredom at bay.
- Letting your child place the seeds in the soil, water them, measure the seedlings, and harvest plants will keep them motivated to finish the next step, and letting them eat some of the vegetables they harvest will foster a sense of pride.
- Treating your garden as an experiment of sorts will not only nourish their mind, but keep their interest. Use the building of a compost heap as a biology lesson, and as you harvest and eat your crop, offer lessons on nutrition and math.
Gardening can be an involved process, but it can also be very exciting and educational for children. If you celebrate small milestones, they’ll be more willing to participate― the process of growing a garden will feed their bodies and their minds at the same time.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Boughton Loam and Turf Management, suppliers of quality topsoil. For more info on topsoil and gardening please click here.