Tips For Getting Your Kids into the Garden
Guest Post by Craig Scott of Everything Backyard
So, you want to get your child in the garden? Well, unless your kid is planning to be the next great botanist, that task may be difficult. Let’s face it, the only gardening kids are really interested in is planting Zombies to fight Plants on their tablet or phone. Most times kids are in a garden, it is to make mud pies and generally make a mess of everything. However, getting your kids to actually help you in the garden can actually be very beneficial to their development. Plus, it gets their faces out from their technology.
How can this be done? The answer might be actually more simple than you think. To do this, you have to remember that kids like to have fun. If you make gardening a chore, most likely, the child is going to have a miserable time.
One way, that uses a bit of easy psychology, is that you have to make it seem like it was their idea all along. This can be accomplished as easily as suggesting that you grow their favorite vegetable or if your kid hates vegetables as much as most young kids, tell them that they can plant their favorite food. That might require a bit more creativity on your part because you might have to create the wondrous pizza plant, but it would be well worth it.
Another simple way to get your kids in the garden is, if they are old enough, give them the responsibility. When kids are at that crucial age of learning what life is, they can be taught how to also care for a life. Many parents will get their children a goldfish or a hermit crab, I don’t recommend the hermit crab unless you want to also teach them what death is very quickly as they do not last very long. Let them choose what to plant in the garden and have them (mostly) care for that plant or vegetable. Also, giving it a name would probably give them more incentive to give it all of their attention.
When children are young, they are very attuned to different tastes. Introducing new tastes and foods to them may prove to be difficult. Having them see what is growing in the garden might be a way of doing that. Letting them taste the different plants in the garden would spark their curiosity and drive them to be more involved and more open to new and exciting tastes. Whether it be with fresh basil or tomatoes, or even something truly different like Cucamelons. You can be certain that your kids will actively want to try new things.
Speaking of curiosity, showing your children exactly how some of the plants in the garden grow would really peak their interest. This is very simple to do. All you need is the seed of a plant that is easy to grow and take care of, like a Spider Plant, a clear, plastic cup, and soil. It may take a few days at first to get started but your child will soon be able to see how the roots grow through the soil and actively watch as the plant grows. A direct result from their care for it. This educational activity might spark greater curiosity and get them to experiment in the garden with other plants, fruits and vegetables, possibly the pizza plant as well.
Having your children help you in the garden will not only get them out of the house and away from their technology. It will also help you to bond more closely with them. It is shown that parents and children who do activities together will develop much more closely together. Getting your children in the garden will also teach them the fun of being responsible, as well as the effects of being irresponsible, without any real harm coming to their psyche or any real living creature. Any of these ideas would be great to try out, or you can come up with a creative way on your own. Each child is different, it is your job as a parent to utilize their talents and spark their interest in the best way you can.