Gardening is a relaxing activity and enjoyable for all. As a family, gardening and maintaining our homestead is a huge part of our daily lives. But why is it beneficial for your children? Not only is getting physically in contact with the Earth very grounding and calming, but by taking up gardening you reap all of the benefits of spending more time outdoors!
Children can learn so much just from pottering about and exploring, as well as how to grow their own food and how the ecosystem works…. This is why it is one of the main aspects of the girls home education. Not to mention it’s great fun!
So with gardening being so beneficial for your children, is it possible to ensure make it enjoyable for everyone? Absolutely! Gardening is fantastic for all ages!
Here are our top tips for enjoying gardening with your children!
Whilst it may be tempting to start a huge family project, starting small is a great way of introducing your children to the concept of gardening. Younger children, especially, have much shorter attention spans, so by starting with 15 – 30 minutes a time and gradually working up from there, you can keep the activity interesting and avoid creating boredom.
If a project is something you really want to embark on, then break it up into smaller sessions. Spend one day clearing, the next preparing the soil and finally a day planting, or whatever works for you! By introducing gardening this way, you can keep things interesting, teach your children effectively and make having fun the most important goal.
Perhaps you would like to start being more self-sufficient? In which case, why not start a small veg patch or some salads inside that everyone can maintain? Small projects like this are quick to do and see fast results, giving your little gardeners the gratification they crave! If caring for the wildlife is more your forte then check out our guide on how to build a wildlife garden or wildlife habitats.
Use Child Friendly Plants
There is nothing more stressful than trying to watch your children as they explore the garden and promptly try to eat everything in sight. One way to solve this is to make everything EDIBLE!
You can create some truly beautiful gardens with fruit, veg, herbs and edible flowers! Our fruit trees are a staple feature of our garden and truly create a beautiful space to be in!
Not only will the area be safer for your children but you can become more self-sufficient as a family and reduce fresh produce bills all whilst teaching your children how to care for the world around them. It’s a win win!
For some suggestions of edible plants, see our Pinterest board!
Invest In Some Children’s Tools
Kids love dirt its a fact. They also love getting involved. So what better way to include your mini diggers than with their own tools!
Most garden centres will have a childs range of tools, gloves and the staple wellies. However, if you don’t have a local garden centre, then online stores such as amazon or ETSY stores stock huge ranges of cute designs.
By giving your child their own tools, not only are you including them, but you’re making them feel valued and that they have an important role to play. They aren’t just there to watch you, but to help you and what can be more fun than that!?
The only issue we have come across is gloves for toddlers…. They seem to be impossible to find! Especially for those children with tiny hands like our girls. But if you aren’t bothered by the dirt then simply forgo the gloves. Feeling the Earth in their hands really is so beneficial for our children and trust me their hands are the least messy parts by the end of it!
Expect Lots Of Dirt…
When it comes to soil and children, they are a match made in heaven. Once they get stuck in, the dirt will quite literally be everywhere. In their hair, on their faces, all over their clothes… You name it, I can guarantee there will be soil there. Oh and yes they will more than likely eat it, so just ensure no fertiliser is used where they will have access to.
We believe a dirty, muddy child is a happy child, so the mess doesn’t bother us. We go in prepared. Dress them in clothes you dont mind getting dirty, that preferably dry fast and time in accordance with bath night. For those who follow us on Instagram, you will understand just how messy garden time can get with our girls! It’s fantastic fun and the mess is all part of it!
Make It A Sensory Playground!
Gardens are fantastic for the senses. So many colours, textures and sounds! Not only will this help develop your child’s senses, but it will also give them the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild! A great activity is to let them draw their dream gardens and then take aspects from the drawings to really help them get stuck in.
When it comes to sensory gardens the possibilities are endless, from water features to pebble paths and contrasting colours, you can create not only the garden of your child’s dreams, but a garden that you can also take pride in. Perhaps this is the perfect time to give your garden the make over it deserves!
Smaller gardens can also be made into sensory wonderlands with mirrors, colourful potted arrangements and creating visually stimulating areas. There are many plants that are more than happy to remain potted, you can even get varieties of fruit trees intended for this purpose, so no matter what the size of your outdoors space is, be it garden or balcony, there is something for everyone!
For some sensory garden inspiration check out our gardening with children board!
Whether new to gardening, or simply new to gardening with children, these tips will have you out getting your family’s fingers green in no time! The beauty of gardening is that it doesn’t matter what your approach is, every person has a different gardening style with their gardens being as unique as they are. By keeping the aims small, mood light and learning to embrace the dirt, your family will truly benefit from this wonderful pastime.
What tips do you have for gardening with children? Be sure to share your gardening adventures with us on our forum! We love to see what you have all created!