How to Engage Kids in Gardening
Engaging children in gardening is a pledge of obedience as they enjoy imitating adults. Besides, this activity brings hard work and increases belief in its importance. Let’s teach our children how to grow food and consume it consciously with benefit. We really have to come back to the roots to teach the children enjoy food they have grown themselves.
Children are like little monkeys, they absorb and imitate almost everything that adults do. And if a child knows how his favourite fruit or vegetable grow, how much effort he needs to grow it, a lot of good qualities will develop in him such as hard work, thriftiness, respect for other people’s work and ground.
By the way, engaging a child in joint daily work in the garden is the best way to establish friendship, to inculcate work skills in a group and prevent a lot of 21st century problems, for example, game or internet addiction.
Here some tips for you to implement gardening in your child’s life:
– Don’t hurry up! When you go to work in the garden with your kid, mind that you have to spend more time for work. Take it as a way o practice your patience.
– Stop being a perfectionist. Children will make mistakes. Try to perceive their mistakes as a possibility to study. Maybe not perfect but everything will grow and it’s natural.
– Work merrily. May your child take gardening as fun. Show imagination and turn vegetable growing into a game.
– May they reap. Children like to harvest fruit and vegetables. So it may be a sort of award for them to do it. Compete! Also, kids eat with a great appetite that they have grown themselves.
Surely, don’t forget about the safety measures:
– There shouldn’t be any nails, glass and other sharp objects in the garden.
– Buckets and barrels are also a threat to a kid.
– Pay attention to various small ponds and fountains that are nowadays in fashion of landscape design in the countryside.
– Stones and other small items are dangerous because a child can put them into the mouth.
– Glass windows in the greenhouses (preferably replace them to polycarbonate).
– Fence gates and doors must be closed on the lock.
– Porches are dangerous too, because a child can climb but can’t get off .
Despite the ganger, give your children more freedom, and prohibit something if it’s really dangerous, not because they may get dirty, wet or throw something.
When a kid is 1.5 – 4, he can walk and enjoy imitating, so he will be happy to get a responsible mission, for instance, to water plants, remove branches, dig a hole with a scoop. But be ready that 15 minutes later your child finishes the job and it’s better to have a couple more different tasks for him.
Give a piece of land to older children where they can grow something themselves but under your strict guidance, of course. This activity develops the following important qualities: responsibility (if plants aren’t watered, they fade); self-reliance and hard work (what can inspire more than noticeable results of hard work); respect for others’ work.
Choosing Plants for Children’s Garden Beds
It’s preferably to give children the plants that grow rapidly, because children are impatient and want to see their work results as soon as possible. Also, take into account that these plants should have fruits to eat. All children are interested in unusual plants such as a huge sunflower, small in size cherry tomatoes, pumpkin. Undoubtedly, your child would like to take care about peas and beans. Prepare its seeds in advance, pre-soak them and give the spouts hatch. Seeding will take about 10 days.
Growing a sunflower can a game. You can grow a sunflower house – plant the seeds in semicircle at the distance of 4 inches. And when they reach 1.5m, gather their tops and tie – the house is ready! Don’t forget to leave space for a door.
Plant some potato tubers. The child will be surprised that he plants one tuber and gets a few then.
Squash, zucchini and pumpkin are awesome plants. From one small seed there is a huge vegetable.
Another great option for children is onion. It grows quickly and needs little care.
Curly lettuce is also unpretentious and looks great. And it grows again and again if only pluck the tops of its leaves.
The harvest your child gathers should be included on his menu. The child’s labour should be encouraged. Tell about it your relatives, take photos, treat your guests with fruit and vegetables your kid has grown. And surely praise him. Because a positive response doesn’t make you wait long!