Gardening is a therapeutic and educational activity for people everywhere, regardless of their age and experience. The combination of being outdoors and tending to plants with your children provides opportunities for bonding, and teaches them important life skills from an early age.
As we are already in the midst of summer, and the great outdoors is bursting with vibrant colors and plant life - it is the ideal time to start cultivating plants of your own with the little ones, bringing them closer to nature through rewarding gardening activities. Try these easy and fun garden activities with your children to start them off, so they won’t get bored or discouraged early on.
Regular watering is the most basic gardening task and also the most essential. This simple activity helps children develop responsible habits and teaches them to take proper care of plants, establishing a connection with nature. Buy a cute looking watering can and encourage them to water their plants regularly.
Planting seeds or seedlings in the garden is an ideal way for kids to get their hands dirty, while learning about the life cycle of plants and vegetables. Regular contact with soil and plant life also helps your child develop a sensory connection to nature, while seeing how their efforts contribute to garden growth. They will learn about responsibility, and how to nurture life with patience.
With a growing garden, weeds and wild plants are bound to appear as well. Getting your kids involved in weeding garden beds will allow them to further develop motor skills, and distinguish between garden and wild plants.
Once your child has gained some gardening experience, composting and mulching will give them an opportunity to observe how plants decompose after the end of their life cycle, and ways to recycle them into nutrient-rich soil for sustainable gardens.
Enjoying the fruits of one’s labor from garden harvests is always an all-time favorite activity. After tending to their plants regularly and watching them grow, kids love the process of harvesting vegetables, herbs and fruits as the final reward. This crucial process also teaches them the virtue of patience and hard work, as well as the use of homegrown organic food for healthier meals.
Building a Flower Garden
Apart from growing veggies, kids love colorful and vibrant looking flowers. Let them try their hand at planting bright varieties such as calendula, marigolds, lavender, and sunflowers, which are also ideal for attracting pollinators like butterflies and bees to your garden. Encourage your child to tend to the flowers, while learning more about insects and the garden ecosystem at the same time.
Keeping a Journal
Besides the actual gardening, you can also have your children keep a gardening journal to record how their plants grew, with images or photographs, as well as notes on insects or wildlife they encountered. This activity encourages them to observe and to document their gardening journey, and helps them review their progress and the discoveries they made along the way.