Getting children to take part in gardening has numerous benefits whilst also encouraging them to get outside the house more. You don’t even need to have a lot of experience doing it yourself to take it up.
One of the underlying benefits of gardening is it’s fun, cheap and allows them to learn a new skill. It may even turn into a lifelong hobby they pass down to their own children.
The various activities involved with gardening such as preparing the soil, watering plants and planting seeds help with fine motor development. This can be transferred into many different aspects of later life.
We’ve given some consideration to the best ways to encourage your children to begin and continue gardening below:
Sensory Plants: Plant for Sight/Smell
Plants can be beautiful to look at, especially flowers. They have bright, bold colours in order to attract insects and birds for pollination. Keep this in mind when selecting your own plants to grow. Choose flowers that are beautiful and easy to grow from seed such as sunflowers, marigolds and Shasta daisies.
As your child sees the flowers grow and eventually blossom it will leave a lasting impression. They will see the beauty of nature and the process by which plants sustain themselves.
Edible Plants: Plant for Taste/Touch
Plants in the form of fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit can be both beautiful and delicious. The area you have available to grow will determine the type of things you can grow. Have a look at this excellent infograph from country living which explains this in greater depth. A patio garden can grow things such as carrots, tomatoes and lettuce. Herbs such as mint, basil and oregano can be grown inside in containers in the kitchen or a sunny room.
Research shows eating what you grow can encourage healthy eating in children. Your child will feel numerous textures when picking the vegetables and the taste will leave a last impression.
Create Independance: Give Them Space
There are so many ways that you can create a sense of responsibility for an allocated part of your garden. Putting them in charge of watering the flowers will allow them to check on their progress appreciating these as they begin to grow.
You can also introduce an arts and crafts element to proceedings by creating a fairy garden. Do this with inexpensive materials and even a birdhouse. Take some inspiration from the “Crafts by Amanda” blog.
Create Ownership: Give Them Tools
There are a huge range of children’s garden tools available online and in shops. These include brightly coloured little wheelbarrows, trowels, watering cans, spares and shovels. Purchasing your child their own set of gardening tools will create a sense of ownership. It will also make it easier to execute their duties. You can have a look at some of the best garden tools here.
Regardless of the scale which children engage with gardening it will have a lasting benefit. Create the best possible scenario given your type of garden to get them involved. You will create some great memories for them.
Have your children been creative in your garden? Share their creations with us by sending us your pictures or by tagging them #littleplayexperts and us @theplayexperts.