How to get your Kids Involved and Invested in Gardening
There are a myriad of benefits from spending time in the garden as a family. Time spent getting your kids involved in gardening can reap rewards when it comes to mental and physical well being and the activities that you undertake don’t need to cost a fortune. Getting the kids involved in gardening also doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take a lot of space up either. Read on for our 5 awesome tips on how getting your kids involved and invested in gardening can help with life skills, budgeting, and holiday activities too.
The Benefits of Gardening with Kids
You don’t need a huge garden to introduce kids to gardening and neither do you need to spend a lot of money. Gardening activities can start with window sills, in containers, in small yards and they can apply to all ages too.
Once you get started you’ll be surprised at some of the benefits that gardening can have for both kids and the entire family. Here are just some of the ways in which gardening with your kids can reap rewards.
- Gardening can be a great physical activity for kids – a little digging, planting, watering, and harvesting is a mild form of exercise that can improve mental well being
- The process of learning about plants and what’s involved in how they grow can be a superb addition to any school curriculum.
- If you choose to grow edible plants then it’s a great way to include food and nutritional education to your gardening. Kids are way more likely to eat vegetables if they’ve grown them themselves.
So, let’s get started – here are our 5 incredibly easy tips for how you can get your kids both involved and invested in gardening.
5 Awesome Tips on How to Get Your Kids Involved in Gardening
Involve Children in a Garden Plan
Gardening doesn’t just have to be when the weather is nice – although, we admit, that definitely helps. You can start planning and working on the garden even in the deepest of winter. And you don’t even have to get cold or wet!
Involving the kids in the planning of the garden is a great way to include some educational aspects to their garden adventure. Include activities such as developing a map of the garden (you’ll need map paper, or large sheets of paper, crayons or pencils, stencils, and other art supplies). It’s also a good opportunity to pick up a few books about gardening too, whether that’s about plants to grow or the best easy vegetables that you can grow in the UK.
Give your Kids Responsibility for an Area of the Garden
In the same way that decorating a bedroom gives kids the opportunity to stamp their personality on their room, giving them responsibility for an area of the garden can do the same. When you’re putting your garden plan together allocating a specific area of the garden – or if you have a yard, balcony or terrace divide it by a number of containers.
It’s also best to start with the basis of a plan to help guide the direction of the garden, so perhaps set some ground rules for the garden, like a budget for each area and the setting of expectations and that just concreting it over isn’t an option!!
If you get some guidelines as to what you expect, then we’d recommend including some of the following
- Grow something with flowers (a sunflower is an awesome choice here)
- Grow something that lives through the winter (heather or winter pansies tend to be quite hardy)
- Grow something that they can (and the whole family) can eat – if they have a favourite vegetable then that’s a great start!. Potatoes and carrots are great vegetables to grow for kids.
- If you decide to grow vegetables – which provides for immense learning experiences, then be sure to pick vegetables that are quick to grow and that are familiar – carrots are easy to grow and great fun, especially when their shapes don’t turn out to be what you expect!
Use a Garden Calendar and Task List to Plan Activities
Managing the garden with kids is much easier if you can organise and outline all the jobs and tasks required at various stages of the growing year. Helping the kids to create their own calendar and task list and making it into a visible part of family life will really help to keep the enthusiasm going for your gardening activities. As part of the garden planning process, being able to see when flowers should be ready, when a sunflower is likely to have seeds that you might want to dry and use as snacks, or when their vegetables are ready to pick will really help with commitment.
Provide them with children sized tools for their garden
In the same way that having their own specific area of the garden that they’re responsible for helps with commitment and learning, so too does providing them with their own gardening tools – especially if your children are different ages. It doesn’t need to be a big investment, but it’s unlikely that a 5-year-old will be able to manage an adult-sized trowel or shovel, but a big plastic kitchen spoon will do just as well and a bucket and spade from the beach will also work just as well. If you’re using pots and containers then you can also use old buckets, or even bags for life for planting – just don’t forget to put some drainage holes in them!
You just need to work out together what your children will use to water, weed, and harvest their plants and crops.
Maintain enthusiasm by having a produce plan
Whether you’re growing flowers or vegetables it will be easier to maintain and prolong enthusiasm if you can work out a plan with your kids as to what to do with the produce from their garden. If you’ve given them a budget to work with, then perhaps allow them to sell their produce to you to include in meals – it’ll definitely help them to start to understand budgeting and the cost of food. The Works offers a brilliant range of discount gardening books to help get kids involved in the garden.
Perhaps, also if they’re growing vegetables or herbs, include them in the planning of how their produce can be used in and what meals to cook. Meal prep and simple recipes are a great way to get kids involved early on with nutrition and there are some great children’s recipes book around.
In growing their own plants and vegetables it also gives your children a great opportunity to show off their skills to friends and family. Making gift baskets or boxes of vegetables or bunches of flowers, or even cuttings for friends and family is a lovely way for them to show their skills – and ease the budget when it comes to Christmas!
Final Words on how to get your kids involved and invested in Gardening
Whether you want to grow your own food, make your garden an oasis of escape or a functional location where the kids can let off steam, getting them involved in the process can reap rewards for everyone. Our 5 awesome tips on getting your kids involved in gardening have explained how it doesn’t need to cost a fortune and that you don’t need an immense garden to make this happen, a little imagination can go a long way.
If fruit and vegetables are not your child’s thing, maybe make a Fairy Garden together.
All that remains is to ask what plans you have for your garden and how the kids are going to be involved. Let us know what you’re doing in the comments!