Pexels Credit: Unsplash
Did you know that kids make fantastic gardeners? It’s true thanks to their curious nature, the ability to absorb information like sponges and their never-failing dedication to getting as messy as is humanly possible!
Pexels Credit: Tim Gouw
Give Them Space
Allotting your child their own garden space accomplishes two things. The first means that they’ll feel super grown up and eager to play in ‘their area’ while it lessens the chance of them picking, or worse digging up your prize peonies. Decide whether to give them a flower pot, container or soil bed before letting them loose in the dirt. Large flower or plant pots are much easier to grow things in and the packed together soil is harder to scoop out.
Pexels Credit: Lukas
Forget Plastic Trowels
Always supervise children when using gardening tools but avoid giving them a kiddie gardening set as they’re not worth the hassle. You may have to do a little research, but there are proper, workable tools out there that are designed for small fingers. Look for ways to adapt things you already own, cut down hoe or spade handles, find them a mini trowel and dig out that little watering can that’s designed for small indoor plants as it’ll be just the right size. Show them how to use the tools safely and correctly but never leave them alone with any gardening tool until you’re sure you know they’ll be safe.
Pexels Credit: Unsplash
Give Them A Project
Little ones love doing stuff so why not encourage them to grow herbs or cress from scratch? These are fairly simple, quick projects that’ll show results in less than a week or so. Once they’ve mastered those, try them out with tomato or pansy seeds and see how well they do nurturing the soil, making sure the seeds have enough water, sunlight and air as well as supervising them when the time comes for them to be transplanted. While lots of people suggest starter plants, seeds teach kids about how things grow so they’ll be far more confident about harvesting the tomatoes themselves once they’ve grown ripe.
Pexels Credit: Mohamed Aguizoul
Many childcare experts suggest that young children should stay well clear from ponds in, case they fall in, but it’s possible to enjoy this natural space without fear. Firstly, make sure the pond is covered then it won’t matter if they accidentally trip. Next, teach them about water safety and while this one is covered not all ponds are so if they’re in any doubt stay well away from the edge as you don’t know how far the water comes up.Encourage them to help you maintain the pond itself, showing them the wide range of pond liners you used when building the pond system. It’s also good to explain how different plants and flowers attract birds, insects, dragonflies and even frogs.
Pexels Credit: Leigh Patrick
Don’t forget to praise them for all their gardening efforts, buy them the correct tools and take lots of pictures of their plants, flowers and vegetables as well as inviting friends and family to tour ‘their’ garden with them. Kids love positive attention, so plenty of encouragement will go a long way in turning an interest into a passion!