Your garden can be the ultimate playground for your kid, you just have to make it fun!
That’s the issue however, how do you make it fun? Kids have many distractions, from video games, to smartphones to TV. With distractions like these, it could feel like a herculean task making gardening fun for your kids and to get them generally interested in planting flowers and herbs. Especially if you’ve got a green thumb and all you want to do is share it with them.
However, it can be done, and we are going to show you how. But first, let’s talk about the benefits of gardening for kids.
- It Encourages Healthy Eating: Kids are pick eaters, add that to them always wanting to feel up on candy, and it gets hard to get your kid to eat anything healthy. But, when your child grows their own vegetables themselves, they are going to be so proud of it, it’d be impossible not to get them to try it. Also, you can use gardening as an opportunity to have your kids grow fruits or veggies they like.
- Gardening is Educational: For one, gardening is science, so your kids are going to learn first-hand how plants grow and what they need to help them grow. Also, gardening engages your kid’s senses. They are going to learn a lot about taste, smell, hearing and sight from things like how a tomato smells, or how water feels.
- Gardening fosters Bonding: As family time goes, gardening is the perfect way to bond with your kid. Not only do you get to teach them fun things about gardening, you get to monitor their development. Find out what they like or how they react to the plants. Gardening is also the perfect time to have conversations about important life and school stuff without technology getting in the way.
How to make Gardening Fun for Kids
Give Them a Space That Belongs to Them
The first step to getting your kid interested in gardening is to give them a space that belongs to them. A place they can plan, organise and decide what to grow. After you do this, you should also buy them tools for their garden space.
Ironically, kids don’t like being treated like kids so, doing something like this not only gives your child something to look forward to, it shows them you think they are responsible and can handle it. Follow that with lots of encouragement and watch your child get excited to garden.
Make it their Responsibility
It’s one thing to give your child their own garden space, and it’s another to hog it.
Doing that takes the fun away, and it stops your child from learning and growing on their own. It is normal to want to take over, especially if you feel like your kid isn’t doing it the way you want. But you have to let them experiment by themselves. Kids are curious, and it’s their curiosity that drives them to learn.
So, let your child learn. Let them construct the flower beds and pick what plants they’d like to grow. Let them water the plants and pick the weeds. If they mess up while they do this, let them. It’s all part of the process.
This is perhaps the most fun part of gardening. Imagine how excited your child would be if they found pretty butterflies or a cute little hedgehog in their garden.
You can attract wildlife insects by planting flowers that would attract butterflies. Flowers like Red Valerian, Lavender, Teasel, Butterfly bush, Ivy, Golden rod, Sweet rocket, Aubretia and Honesty. You can also build a bug hotel to attract bees, bugs, and other insects. This will help your child learn about wildfire and nature.
While you do that, you can also use it as a chance to educate your kid about wildlife that’s not as friendly such as black widow spider or fire ants. Bugs and worms are generally harmless, but there is some wildlife that could harm your child. Watch out for those.
Let Them Make a Mess
Children love to make a mess, it’s also impossible for them not to. There’s no better place to do this than in a garden. Allow your kid to play around in the dirt and make as much mess as they want to. It’s a safe place, so you can watch them and it’s better than playing on your couch, right?
Allowing them to make a mess will give them the chance to explore nature in a fun way. From jumping into puddles, to digging holes and pulling out weed, your kid would have fun in the best messy way possible.
Of course, allowing them to be this free ensures they come back. The best part of this is your kids would learn so much while doing this, and it they wouldn’t even see it as learning.
Make it Practical
Ever spent hours planting something that you didn’t get to eat or use. Disappointing, wasn’t it? Well, that’s exactly how your kid would feel too. To get your child very interested in gardening, make sure the things they plant can be eaten or used when it grows.
You surely don’t want their hard work to be for nothing.
You can help them plant flowers for beautifying the house or for gifting and their favourite fruits or veggies. Knowing that everything they plant will be used or eaten can be a tremendous incentive. It will make them eager to garden.
For a start, you can have your child plant things that can grow quickly. Having to wait too long for a plant to grow might discourage them. The idea is to start them small, monitor their progress and see how it goes.
You can also take this further by planting colourful plants like purple carrots. The thought of seeing something like this grow will keep your child committed.
Gardening can be fun and fulfilling for your child. Not only will it help them understand nature better, it will also teach them great qualities like patience, responsibility and hard work.