Kids love getting dirty, so gardening can be a great way to get them involved in the spring and summer activities around the house. When you involve your kids in the garden, they’ll learn valuable life skills and create memories that will last long after the garden has been put to bed for the season. Here are five ways to encourage gardening with kids.
1) Teach them the value of hard work
Introduce your kids to gardening. Encourage them to learn about different plants, care for and nurture them, and eventually harvest fruits and vegetables that they can share with their family or donate to others in need. Not only will they get a valuable life lesson in caring for others, they’ll also develop a sense of pride as they see how their hard work has paid off.
2) Show them how fun it can be with the right tools
Getting kids excited about gardening is not as difficult as you might think. Some of them just need a little nudge in order to get them over their fears and show them how fun it can be. There are many tools available that have a helping hand at one end, making it easy for kids to prepare soil, plant seeds and make compost with minimal effort on their part. When you think about how much children enjoy using technology like tablets and smartphones, then why not encourage them to make use of some garden technology?
3) Let them explore different methods
If your little ones can’t quite get their hands dirty, let them explore different methods of gardening. For example, an indoor herb garden is a great way for kids to learn about different plants and how they grow without requiring any soil or shovels. All you need are some herb seeds and mason jars! (You can find out more in our beginner’s guide to starting an indoor herb garden.)
4) Don’t force them into anything, let it come naturally
You can’t force your kids into being excited about gardening. If you want them to enjoy growing fruits and vegetables, don’t make it a chore. Make it fun! Growing produce with your family will bring a lot of fond memories for years to come. Have fun planning together how you’ll build something in your garden or pique their interest in some new varieties. Ask them what they want to grow, help plan where everything should go and get involved once they start to harvest. From there, it’s a good idea to take pictures that show how much they’ve grown and are enjoying all that hard work.
5) Make it about community and family
As kids get older, getting them involved in family chores can become difficult. That’s why it’s important for parents to look for ways that gardening can bring kids and their families together. For example, make gardening a group activity and organize potluck dinners around fresh vegetables or fruits grown in your garden. As you get more creative with gardening-related events, you’ll start to see that working in your backyard isn’t just about growing plants — it can also be a great way for friends and family members to bond over a hobby they enjoy doing together.