Home gardening is one great way of spending family time. Gardens can be a great source of surprises as well as lessons of love and respect for planet Earth. It wouldn’t matter if you are an accomplished gardener or a newbie, gardening has always been an enjoyable and fulfilling hobby.
We all know that home gardening has many benefits. Aside from being sure that your plants were raised organically, you get to eat the fruits of your labor. You feed your family fresh fruit and vegetables and even get to put beautiful flowers in your vase.
Teaching children to appreciate home gardening at an early stage can sometimes be challenging. Toddlers may be overly playful and can turn your beautiful garden into a mess in just a few minutes. Don’t let these things dampen your spirits. Instead, you can turn their boundless energy into something more productive like showing them how worms till the soil or explaining why butterflies love flowers.
Gardens are worlds of wonder and imagine having one right in your backyard! Children are innately interested with nature and will surely catch on if you show them some enthusiasm. If you love home gardening and are wanting your kids to appreciate it the way you do, here are some tips:
- Read children’s stories about gardening. Children love stories so take advantage of this. Find excellent story books that talk about home gardening and the joy it brings. Choose the ones with colorful pictures so that your child will get excited to go out and work with you in the garden. You can also use this time to show your child how food is grown. Growing Vegetable Soup by L. Ehlert is one of my favorites.
- Encourage your children to play outside so you can have an eye on them while you tend to your garden. Put toys in the garden that they enjoy playing with, like a playhouse or sandbox. Soon they will be curious with what you are doing. When they see you enjoying yourself, they will be excited to try it.
- Get your children involved. Take them to the local nursery when you go to buy your gardening materials. Encourage them to choose seeds they would love to plant. When properly supervised, children would love to fill pots with soil, and help with all sorts of odd jobs in the garden.
- Give them their own garden beds. Let your children plant their seeds and enjoy the whole process. Do not be overly concerned with perfect plant spacing or straight rows. Remember that children learn best when the experience is fun. Positive experiences help sustain their interest.
- Children love to imitate their parents so give your children the tools of the trade. Buy junior-sized home gardening tools and show your kids how to use them in their own garden beds. Make sure to protect yourselves from the sun. If your kids get sunburned, they wouldn’t like to go back to the garden anymore.
- Make gardening a part of your daily routine. When you put gardening into your daily schedule, your children will look forward to it. Don’t forget to incorporate play time and planting to make it more enjoyable and keep them interested.
- Prepare to get dirty. Don’t expect your children to do gardening and not dirty their clothes or get mud on their feet. Part of the fun in gardening is getting dirty. Just give them a good bath after you are done.
- Celebrate wonder. A garden is a great place to experiment and discover. This is an opportune time to teach your children the processes of nature. Explain to them that worms are garden friends, not just creepy and gross creatures.
Home gardening provides fresh air, exercise, and good food. For children, growing their own food introduces them to good nutrition and if you are lucky, it can set them up for good eating for life. When they get to eat something they have helped produce, it becomes a special experience for them. Gardening is a wonderful way of learning patience and appreciation of the work of nature as well.
Most adults who have spent their childhood in gardens always have fond memories of family and friends who have cultivated the soil with them. And unlike plants that thrive for a season, these beautiful experiences are fondly reminisced throughout a lifetime.