Ever wondered how to get your children outside more? Gardening is the perfect way to ensure that little ones get plenty of fresh air while doing something that they really enjoy. After all, who doesn’t love getting their hands dirty and playing with mud? But, children tend to have little patience, which can be a slight drawback when it comes to growing plants. So here are our top tips for getting their attention and keeping them interested.
Firstly, keep it snappy. Plant seeds that will sprout quickly, so that they can watch them grow. Seeds like cress and sunflower are great for a quick turnaround. Sunflowers are also lots of fun as you can have a competition to see which one grows the highest.
Once they have the hang of planting seeds, take them up a level by growing edible plants. Children love to reap the rewards of their hard work, so plant plenty of recipe friendly seeds so that they can try something new. Introduce them to herbs like basil and mint as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, and root vegetables. Don’t forget to include them in the cooking process when it’s time to eat the bounty!
Another great way to get your children involved is to give them their own gardening tools. Not only are they a safer option than using adult tools but having their own set will help to build their confidence and sense of independence in the garden. Providing them with their own small space to work with is another great way to get them inspired and thinking about what they could plant there.
Don’t forget to regularly ask them questions to keep them engaged throughout the process. Ask them why they think the plant smells or which flowers are their favourite so that they feel like they are actively involved. Have them draw pictures of the plants or make labels for them to help you remember where everything is. You could also set them the task of gathering up leaves or cataloguing the creepy crawlies in the flower beds.
Finally, no garden is complete without a fort. Create a simple structure from willow bean sticks and plant some honeysuckle or clematis at the base. Teach your children to train the vine as it grows to create their own little hideaway in the garden.
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