I find that gardening provides the perfect balance of playing with the kids and beautifying our home. The kids love digging around in the mud and getting dirty, and I love having a beautiful garden in which to relax with (or without) the kids. If you’re having trouble convincing the kids to stop playing their PlayStation’s and get out into the garden – I’ve formulated a successful strategy for gardening with the kids!
1. Aim for Quick Wins
We all know how short the attention span of some kids can be, so it is important they can see quick progress. If you’re not an experienced gardener, it’s important to pick fool-proof plants to avoid the risk of dead flowers and disappointment.
This guide from the BBC lists some of the easiest flowers and fruits which can be grown with the kids. Quick and simple progress could encourage the kids to be more patient with growing plants in the future and help them understand the conditions which promote healthy growth.
2. Let Them Get Dirty
This will almost undoubtedly be the kids’ favourite part of gardening – digging deep into the mud and getting dirt just about everywhere imaginable. Indulging this passion for mud can help encourage them to give you a helping hand in the garden.
Setting up a little cleaning station by the back door with a hose, sponges, body wash and fluffy towels can help get the kids clean before they run indoors and get mud on the settee! Plus chasing the kids around with a hose is fun for everyone.
3. Enjoy the Fruits of your Labour
Kids may not appreciate beautiful flowers and foliage as much as you do, so it is important that you choose plants they can eat and really enjoy. Root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions are all pretty easy to grow and can be chucked into a load of different family favourite recipes.
Digging up a few potatoes for tea is a fun little task for the kids, and can also educate them where their food actually comes from – not everything is magically produced in the supermarket.
Specialist garden centre Capital Gardens agree: “Gardening is much more fun for beginners when they can eat and enjoy the results of their hard work. This can be the first step in a lifelong love of gardening.”
4. Be Team Bee
Bees sometimes get unfairly grouped in with wasps and hornets, criminalised as stinging pests. However, they’re hugely important when growing plants – helping to pollinate a huge number of flowers.
This makes it vital that you explain to the kids why bees are our friends and won’t harm anyone who respects them and lets them get on with their pollinating jobs. Gentle positive reinforcement can help the kids understand their importance.
5. Attract Wildlife
Attracting fun creatures to the garden can also pique the children’s interest. Try to create environments suitable for birds, frogs and other visiting creatures. Building a birdhouse is a great family activity and could help encourage a wide range of different bird species to visit your garden.
Spotting and counting different types of birds also makes a fun garden game for the whole family. A beautiful and fun garden can help the whole family enjoy the great outdoors together.