If you have a passion for gardening and you want to pass that passion on to your little ones, it’s not that challenging to instill an interest in the natural world.
Kids are naturally fascinated by the earth and all its living parts, so if you start with these simple tips, you can grow lifelong gardeners with the same green thumb as yourself.
Cater to their interests.
If your child is interested in wildlife, consider planting shrubs or flowers that attract butterflies and other harmless insects, just be sure these plants don’t also attract other critters that could pose a threat to the rest of your garden. You can even encourage little ones to keep track of how many different bugs they can find in a journal, practice drawing the insects, and looking up information on the species.
Be mindful of little hands.
Depending on their age, some kids might find it difficult to complete certain tasks in the garden, like digging or carrying a water can back and forth to keep plants hydrated. Invest in kid-friendly gardening tools, which you can find at most hardware stores, and make sure plants are easily accessible for kids.
Show how they grow.
Vegetables are notoriously detested by little palates, but by showing kids how their food grows, they might be more inclined to want to eat it. Plant healthy veggies like carrots, cucumber, and peppers, and have your child monitor the plants as they go from tiny seeds to the food they see on their plate for dinner.
Help kids take responsibility for the health of a particular plant or flower in your garden. Explain the gardening basics, like how much water the plant needs, when to water it, the type of soil it will thrive in, and let kids take the reins on keeping up with the tasks.
Make it a competition.
No matter what you do, you’re likely to encounter a few weeds in your garden during peak growing season. Encourage little ones to help eliminate these pesky plants by turning weed pulling into a game. Explain why the weeds are bad and need to be rid of, and then see how many weeds your child can pull out in a set amount of time. Keep track of their weed pulling prowess, and at the end of gardening season, offer a prize for their job well done.
Getting kids interested in gardening isn’t all that hard, all it takes is stirring up their natural curiosity and they’ll be hooked!
For more ways to have some fun in the garden this season, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/culture.