There are plenty of benefits your kids get from gardening. Besides being fun and educational, studies have also shown that kids who spend time participating in outdoor activities, like gardening, sleep better, show improvement in class, and have better eye sight. Getting your kids interested in gardening is not as hard as you might think. Here are a few tips to keep your kids having fun outside while gardening.
Let them be unique!
Letting your children pick the seeds or plants on their own lets them get to grow what they want and have something different from their siblings. When you go to the store, help your children pick out different seeds and plants that are easy to grow. Getting plants that are easy to grow will help encourage your children to develop their gardening skills and keep them interested since it is more likely that they will be able to see results. Some easy to grow flowers are sweet peas, sunflowers, and nasturtiums. There are even some fruits and vegetables, like potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and radishes that are also easy to grow. To keep everything unique to each child, you can buy them their own gardening supplies. One mistake that parents make when buying their kids gardening tools is getting the plastic ones you would use at the beach. These simply won’t get the job done. Instead, you can get tools that are small enough for little hands, come in a variety of colors and will work for all of your kid’s gardening needs.
Setting up their garden space.
No matter if you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out; you need to pick out where you are going to set up your garden at. If you have a big enough back yard for a small garden, let your children pick a spot to claim as their own and then block it off. You can buy a little picket fence to block off each garden, or you can simply line the space with some string and some stakes. If you don’t have a lot of space, you can easily build your own garden box. Your children can then paint the outside of their box and then pick a place to put it. Another thing you can do is create different plant markers for each kid’s garden and plants. You can do this by painting rocks or even just writing on Popsicle sticks. Letting your kids help pick out their garden spot and fixing it up themselves is a fun activity that will get them excited to finally start their garden.
Let the gardening begin!
Before you start to plant the seeds or transfer plants, make sure you or your children read over the instructions so you know how and where to plant them. Let your children do as much of the planting as possible and you can supervise or help if you need to. Of course, if your kids are too young, you can help them dig small holes and plant the seeds. Remember to have fun with it though and let them do as much on their own as they can. Remember to water the seeds/plants after you plant them to help set them in the soil. Your kids will have fun getting dirty and taking care of their new garden.
Maintaining their garden
As every parent knows, children can easily lose interest in different projects. You can easily make tending the garden interesting just about everyday. Children can measure the growth of the sprouts, along with water and fertilize them. Everyday can be a new learning opportunity. Your children will be get to learn the process of how different plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables grow, as well as getting to learn about different worms, bugs, and critters. If they grow sunflowers they will be able to track how the bloom follows the sun. If you do see some insects that are causing harm to the little garden, you can find some chemical-free, home remedies to keep gardens healthy and bug free. One way to keep kids interested is by starting your own compost. This will teach your kids how to create compost and will let them have fresh, chemical-free fertilizer. Of course, the most important part of maintaining a garden is keeping it watered. If you don’t have a sprinkler system, or have the garden out of reach from the sprinklers, your children will have to water their gardens accordingly. However, if you have salt water softeners on your faucets, there is a possibility you could end up with a sodium build up in your soil. There are ways your can prevent this build up, or you can change the type of water softener or even remove it.
Getting your children interested in gardening doesn’t have to be difficult. There are plenty of activities that you and your kids can do to make tasks like watering or fertilizing fun and exciting. In the end, you child will get to learn about different plants, how they grow, as well as good and bad bugs. If you have an edible garden, studies have shown that kids who help garden different fruits and vegetables will eat more fruits and vegetables. Gardening is a great way to get your kids to have fun outside and learn at the same time.
About the Author: Emalee Smith is a staff writer for DIYMother.wordpress.com an