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We are often convinced that gardening and kids just don’t mix. Playing in the mud and kids, yes. But gardening is not on our top list of child-friendly activities for sure. However, this can be a fun, outdoor activity you can share with your little one, and it is not expensive, complicated or even time-consuming. Planting seeds, growing herbs and vegetables and even searching for earthworms is a source of great fun for kids, so don’t hesitate to teach yours how to garden. If you have no idea how to get started, here are some tips you might find useful.
Take baby steps
Who says you need to have a huge garden in order to teach your kids how to grow vegetables or herbs? In fact, in a smaller space your children will be able to focus more easily, maintain their interest and avoid becoming overwhelmed. You can plant beans in cups placed in a window or grow a tomato plant in a pot you will place on your patio. With these simple projects you can teach your children about the basics of gardening, such as sunlight, soil, and water. If your little one becomes interested in this activity, over time you can graduate to a small vegetable garden.
Keep their age in mind
A toddler cannot do the same things a teenager can so give your children age-appropriate tasks. If you have a toddler let them get messy while they are digging holes for seeds and filling in the dirt on top. You can find reviews of sand toys on FuntasticToy, so find a durable set your little one can use in the garden. In case your kids go to school, don’t hesitate to give them more responsibility. They are old enough to choose, plant and harvest their own plants, so encourage them to keep their gardening journal. They can also help you out in the kitchen. If you are a parent of teenagers, let them do everything on their own, without checking up on them and hovering all the time. Let them plant their favorite foods and encourage them to prepare dinner using their harvest.
Give them a choice
In order to keep your kids interested in gardening, let them take the wheel for a moment and decide which plants you should grow. Keep in mind that cherry tomatoes are delicious and they produce fruit earlier than larger ones. Green, leafy vegetables such as lettuce or spinach grow quickly so your kids will quickly be able to see the result of their hard work.
Give them their own tools
Don’t just let them borrow yours. Instead, buy a child-size shovel and a pair of gloves. After all, every gardener needs to have a set of high-quality tools and your kids are no exception. When they have the right equipment they will be more interested in helping you out.
Let them make a mistake
Your kids will definitely make some mistakes, but instead of always correcting them, resist the urge and let them do things their own way. Making a mistake is sometimes the best way to learn a valuable lesson, and let’s be honest, the world won’t come to an end if some of their plants don’t grow.
Eat the fruits of your labor
Make sure to serve your kids the vegetables they planted so they get firsthand experience of the food cycle. Make pizza with their cherry tomatoes, use the basil they grew in a salad or slice their strawberries and put them into cereal. You can even let them assist you with meal preparation.
Let them get dirty, don’t hover too much and show them the results of their work, and your kids will surely enjoy gardening with you.