One of the healthiest hobbies parents can introduce to their kids is gardening. Teaching your children how to cultivate beautiful gardens, whether you are into flowers, veggies, or own a large plot of land for crops, which include sweet potatoes, corns, etc. can build healthy relationships, and also teach your children the importance of taking care of the planet with one seed at a time.
Besides, gardening enables your little ones to create something beautiful; they grow veggies, flowers, and they have a first-hand idea where their meals come from. Also, gardening teaches your children vital life lessons like taking up responsibilities, patience, and treating living things with care; these will help them become better people in society.
Unfortunately, lots of children find it difficult to indulge in this life-changing hobby; they are too busy with television shows, smartphones, video games, and other forms of today’s technology. But don’t worry, making your today’s kids love gardening isn’t a lost cause, there are ways to make children love gardening, continue reading.
Do not rush the process
One of the mistakes parents make with raising their kids is to “enforce” or coerce their kids to do their bidding, with little or no explanation of why they should do it. Kids are people too, they have feelings, they are curious, and of course, they have minds of their own. Pushing them to join you won’t help, and in some cases, it will put a strain on the relationship. The first thing to do is to tell them where their foods come from, a bonus for you if they love eating fruits or veggies; you can start with
“Do you know we can grow this in our backyard, your very own corn?”
Let them be inquisitive, and even they do not love taking fruits, children love juices, you can start from there.
Would you like to grow your fruits and make your juice? This could spike their interest, and then you can initiate gardening to them.
Assign the garden to your child
Give your child a sense of responsibility; tell them they are responsible for the garden, probably not the entire garden. Give your kids their respective spaces, and let them handle it. As parents, we do get carried away with teaching our kids new skills; we most times take over the duties and expect our kids to watch us do them. No, you have to involve them in every step; otherwise, they will lose interest and fall back into their world.
If you are going for a flower garden, let your child construct the flower bed, let them choose which flowers and plants they would like to grow, don’t worry about them messing things up, it’s a learning process. Let them learn!
Define their roles
Children can easily mix things up, and end up ruining what could have been a beautiful experience. If you want to cultivate both flowers and vegetables, you can make some focus on the flowers and others on the vegetables. Teach them how to plant the seeds, and how often they need to water the plants. However, do not make one role more special than the other; make them see the importance of their respective roles
Let Them Play In the Dirt
Another way to make kids love gardening is if you give them the freedom to be themselves; kids love to play in the dirt, restricting them will only zap the fun out of gardening. However, as adults, we have to balance things out.
If you are worried about laundry, they can always wear their gardening clothes whenever it is time to play in the dirt, so allow them to touch and feel things- kids love it.
However, while giving them the freedom to play in the dirt, set boundaries, let them know they cannot play where you are gardening.
Get kiddies gardening tools
Make gardening exciting and safe by giving your children their tools; it spikes their interest and makes it fun to do “grown-up” stuff with mom and dad. From the fun sprinkler heads, birdhouse, leather palmed gloves to children-friendly rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows. You can get it in your local garden shops, or shop from online stores.
Let them have fun with bugs
Not all bugs are harmful to your kids; worms, ladybugs, and a few caterpillars won’t hurt. Screaming your lungs out whenever you see your children playing with these bugs will only instill fear of outdoors and nature in them. Also, use the opportunity to teach your kids the names of different bugs and what differentiates them from each other.
However, bugs like the black widow or a horde of fire ants can harm you and your loved ones. It is essential to inspect your garden before introducing your kids to gardening. Ensure it is safe for them; if you are not sure, call your local pest control operator near you to inspect your garden.