Nature can be said to be the most precious gift to mankind, but conveying this to kids can be challenging. Most of the times, they live in a world of their own where television characters are more interesting than what is going on in the surroundings. One of the most effective ways to get children to venture outdoors is planting a family garden.
Benefits of Gardening with Children
a) It gives them perspective regarding growth parameters
Children are curious by nature. You expect them to ask tons of questions related to the activity they are currently engaged in. Gardening not only keeps them occupied but the conversations during this time can ignite in them a love for nature. You can compare the growth of small seeds to towering trees to their growth and development journey.
The children will be keen to understand plant growth which gives a perspective on what their growth milestones will be like. As they age, their love for nature will heighten with fond memories of gardening.
b) Bonding experience
The bonding during the family activities is crucial in a world where cell phones and computers are taking over social interactions. Adults and kids alike spend the better part of their time glued to their cell phones.
These gadgets do not fare well when taken to the garden which means they will be left behind. The family time will be more fruitful when everyone is actively taking part in what is going on. As the children give you their undivided attention, you will enjoy theirs too.
c) Healthy eating habits
Picky eaters are mostly children of a young age. If you are struggling with such a child, gardening might encourage him or her to try out different kinds of foods. Children are more likely to try out the foods they helped produce. It means that vegetables from the garden will be tolerated better than the ones you bring from the grocery shop.
The quality of the food from the family garden will definitely be better than the store bought produce because you actually know what went into growing the crops. Better quality means better taste and the children will definitely enjoy eating such. When healthy habits are adopted from a tender age, a healthy lifestyle will be promised even when the child becomes an adult.
A guide to better gardening with your children
Anyone who is interested in gardening with his or her kids faces the challenge of where to start. If you are in this dilemma, worry not.
a) Identify the gardening space
The starting point should be the elimination of the common misconception that you need a big space for gardening. Crops can thrive in small spaces. Identify a small gardening platform. Alternatively, make use of the existing landscape in your home. Edible vines can be planted around the fencing. You can use containers placed in sunny areas to grow cherry tomatoes or kid-friendly herbs.
b) Pick the crops to plant
The next step after identification of the gardening space is to get your children engaged in the activity. The initial crops should be easy to grow. The children will understand the process better when there are no complexities involved.
Additionally, choose crops which do not require too much effort to maintain. The perfect starter crops include zucchini, radishes, and herbs. Since they are used on a daily basis in the household, the kids will enjoy them after the harvest.
c) Equal distribution of the workload
The last step is the distribution of the workload so that everyone takes a satisfying role without having to work extra hard. If the children regard gardening as a punishment or an extra chore, they will lose interest. It should be an activity for everyone with minimal contributions leading to greater results.
Among the many benefits of family, gardening is an appreciation of nature, helping children adopt healthy eating habits and also serving as a great bonding experience. Starting a garden is straightforward too because you do not need acres to do so.
In fact, you need only sunlight, seeds, soil and a will to see the process through to the very end.Basic knowledge on how to garden with your children is crucial too. If you pick the crops wisely and distribute the workload equally, you will do very little to motivate the children to take part.