5 Ways to Teach Children Gardening
Gardening is a lost art that the world seems to be slowly trying to recapture. The need for all things organic is starting to really gain some traction and our next generation of kids will be at the forefront of this new movement. Getting them interested early is vital. We spent the last few days getting our vegetable garden planted and one thing that I was determined to do was to get my children excited about growing our own fruits and vegetables.
There are far more than 5 ways to teach children gardening, but these should give you a good start towards cultivating an interest:
Grow your kitchen scraps. Children naturally have short attention spans. They want fast results and they want to learn how to do things on their own at the same time. When you use kitchen scraps to start a small indoor garden, your children will see fast results. They will be fascinated that they can turn dinner scraps into a garden. This is also a great way to teach your child about reducing waste. Leeks, celery, and garlic are just a few of the items you can grow from scraps.
Give your child a garden. Maybe potatoes and carrots just aren't that exciting to your child. Maybe he or she prefers flowers or melons. If your child has some control over what he or she can do in the garden, they are far more likely to want to learn about gardening in general. You might even help them decorate their garden with their own chair, stepping stones, or other small and inexpensive garden decorations. You can also make stepping stones with some concrete, marbles or other small decorative pieces.
Elizabeth is so excited that she will be growing her own watermelon and that she helped to plant everything. All Jonathan wanted was his own potato garden. As for Thomas? He is determined to have the ultimate "pizza garden" (tomatoes, basil or oregano)!
Enjoy time in the garden with your children. Make the experience fun. Children often struggle to get quality time with their parents. Now is the perfect time to enjoy each other's company. Use that garden time to learn all about your kid’s day and make yourself available.
Give them their own gardening tools. Every task you do is more enjoyable when you have the right tools. Your children will feel more involved with the garden if they too have the right tools to use in the garden. They will need a spade, rake, hoe, and gardening gloves at a minimum. You might also consider a hat for gardening and a pad for them to kneel on. This will help them feel more involved in the the entire process!
Share some responsibilities. Give your child the task of watering the garden each day (this is now Jonathan's job), or checking specific areas to see how the plants are coming along. Children take pride in their responsibilities. When you have food on the table that they brought in from the garden it can change their whole outlook.
When trying these 5 ways to teach children gardening, personalize the situation to meet the needs of the child. The more involved they can be as an individual, the more excited they will be about the whole process.
Do your children get involved in the gardening with you?