It’s no secret that kids love digging in the dirt. Why not structure that fun by teaching kids about where their food comes from? Gardening helps children to connect with plants and nature, developing lifelong habits of environmental stewardship.
With the increasing use of electronics and screens, it’s more important than ever to teach kids how to have fun outdoors. Gardening can help foster patience and persistence in young children. Check out some easy tips to get your children excited about gardening.
01. Have fun!
Young kids need to be stimulated to keep them focused. Be sure that your child engages with the exciting tasks in the garden such as watering, digging, and planting. Leave the weeding and pruning to the adults and let the kids get dirty.
02. Give kids the proper space and equipment
Designate a specific space in your garden for kids. Having their own space gives children a sense of ownership and control. Kids will be more inclined to take care of and protect a project of their own. Additionally, kids should be fitted with appropriately sized equipment. Tight gloves and small hand tools will help kids feel capable. Don’t forget the miniature watering cans!
03. Choose the right plants
When gathering seeds and soil for planting, be sure to choose plants that are in season. Children enjoy watching their hard work pay off, so plant something that will flower relatively quickly and thrive in your current climate. Cress and radish seeds are known to germinate within a day or two. Explain to children what is happening at each stage of the growing process, and what they should expect to see.
04. Recycle and repurpose whenever possible
The garden is the perfect space to introduce children to recycling and repurposing. Teach kids about composting and the importance of sustainability. Children will begin to feel a physical and spiritual connection to the land, instilling an environmentally conscious mentality. Use discarded materials from around the house to create unique planters. Try incorporating broken toys or old kitchen gear to create eclectic pots and mini gardens! These repurposing skills will be useful as kids grow older and start to make their own consumption choices.
05. Incorporate wildlife
Children are captivated by animals. Let kids use their hands to disperse worms in the soil. Build a birdhouse or birdbath to entice exciting flying friends into the garden. Certain plants are also known to attract bees, butterflies, and birds. Discuss the interconnectedness of nature with children when working in the garden. Explain that each plant and animal plays an important part in nature, including kids.
Children can learn many lifelong lessons about nature, sustainability, and patience in the garden. At Happy Hippo, children can plant herbs and vegetables with the help of gardening experts. Encourage your child to experience the wonder of the outdoors by getting them involved in the garden!