Gardening With Your Children

I’m bored!!! How often as a parent have we heard this from our children? Children are always learning, whether they know it or not, and we want to pass on good habits to them, so instead of letting them play video games , let’s get them outside and helping in the garden. Let them experience the wonder and joy of watching something grow from a tiny seed to a full grown plant, flower or fruit, with the knowledge that they were instrumental in the process of it. There is always the added bonus of being allowed to get their hands dirty and playing with wet soil making mud pies, as most of us did in our childhood.

Pick an area that is theirs alone, this could be a small table with a few pots on it, a garden bed or even a vertical garden (as they get older and taller). If they are old enough, let your children design and encourage them to decide what type of things they would like to grow. You may have to guide them a bit at first with the right types of plants for the area and soil type, but as they get older, let them investigate for themselves – all part of the learning curve. You might be able to suggest certain plants that attract birds that will bring extra colour to the garden. Children will need size appropriate tools to get them on their way (what a wonderful idea for a present!); a small watering can, spade, garden fork, rake and gloves are the basics to start with.

Teach them the correct way to plant seeds and how to care for them so they will grow, how often they need to be watered, what to do if weeds appear. It might be an idea for children to chart the progress of the plant, so they can see the growth for themselves; young children may need help with this at the start. Encourage them to discuss this with you and watch the amazement on their faces as they realise the different stages of the plant.

Once the plants have matured, let them pick the flowers and display them in a vase on the dining room table (or somewhere else prominent in the house) for all to see. Eat the fruit they have grown or use the vegetables and herbs in your cooking. The pride your children will feel is the best learning experience they can get, it will keep them wanting to go back and do it again, and so the love of gardening begins.

Ensure a safe area for your children to garden, make sure there are no dangerous tools left laying around for someone to trip over or hurt themselves with. Remember to always keep pesticides and weed killers away from children at all times, let them know this is your job in helping keep their garden pest free. Most of all, remember to enjoy your time together and set that good example we want to be for our children.

If you want help don’t hesitate to contact the team at Surrey Hills Garden Supplies.

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