How To Get Kids In The Garden
There’s nothing better than seeing kids munching into fresh fruit and vegetables and exploring different tastes – especially from home grown vegies.
As parents and gardeners we can guide this journey by encouraging them to enjoy the wonder of nature by being outside in the garden with us and seeing things grow, seeing birds and other garden creatures. Planting flowers that attract butterflies, ladybirds and interesting insects will help and is fun too.
Start simply and grow what they like to eat in the family vegetable garden. Everyone loves fresh sweet corn, crisp sugar snap peas, crunchy carrots, juicy cherry tomatoes and yummy beans picked from the vine. Let them smell herbs like mint, see sunflowers in full bloom and different types of pumpkins growing on vines. Encourage kids to come out to the garden to pick with you so they are aware of plants and how good their produce tastes.
Give kids a little plot of their own near where you are gardening so you can help but let them explore. Let children dig in the dirt – young kids love making mud pies. Watering is a gardening ritual that everyone enjoys, so give them the hose but ask them to stay dry.
Small hands need small tools so set them up with a few garden tools of their own and make sure they are lightweight and easy to use.
Take them to buy seeds and seedlings for their garden bed. Help them with planting flowers and sowing seeds and don’t worry about whether they are in straight rows, just let them be creative and most importantly watch them grow. Sometimes writing their names in the soil with quick growing seeds such as baby French radish which grows in 3 weeks, can be loads of fun for them to see.
Encourage their continued interest by explaining what’s happening in the garden. With each season there are new things to plant and harvest such as yummy new potatoes to dig out and cook.
And don’t stop at the garden gate – invite then to come into the kitchen with you and help cook all the amazing things they’ve grown in their own little vegie plot.