To help with online shopping during COVID-19, we are offering free shipping on all orders.
Due to the COVID-19 impact, please add 3 days to the expected delivery date.
For many adults, gardening is a continual learning experience as we discover growth cycles, pest problems and best practices for maximum output. As you learn all this great information, why keep it to yourself? Instead, invite your kids or grandkids to join you!
We know what you’re going to say! “My kids would never do that! They’re too distracted by the TV. They’ll complain it’s too hot.” You’re right, youngsters will try their best to get out of gardening, but we aren’t ready to give up so easily!
There are lots of great ways to help your youngsters grow to love gardening and the great outdoors. Even the most smartphone-addicted kid can find a love for gardening, especially if an adult like you offers support and guidance!
Let’s take a look at how you can make gardening for kids happen:
The most important rule to getting a youngster into gardening is to understand that, at least at first, you’ll likely have an unwilling participant. Your youngster will think there’s better things to do, so it’s your job to make sure a good time is had by all. Likewise, you need to understand that kids will be kids. Expect complaints and whining one minute, and then total fascination the next. The key is appealing to their sense of fun, so here are some things to remember:
As you may make these concessions to a kid-being-a-kid, remember that gardening is still an educational experience! Encourage your child to research the plants and animals he or she is observing. Ask your new gardener to document the progress of your combined efforts in a journal, photos or videos.
For your part, do a little research ahead of time. Make plans to create a garden full of showy, rewarding plants and flowers. Look to generate real excitement when you both go outside.
Most importantly, use this time to bond with the child. Try not to scold him or her for not meeting your standards. Instead, inspire your children! Show how hard work can pay off. Likewise, give your young charges the opportunity to experience the peace and tranquility of gardening.
As mentioned above, try to give the young gardener the simple tasks in the garden – don’t let them seem like a chore. Just as important, make sure the tasks you assign are ones that boost your child’s self-esteem, too!
The simpler and shorter the task, the more likely your child will regularly perform it. One guideline is to assign a task that will take as many minutes as the grade he or she is in: First-graders and younger children have one-minute tasks, second-graders have two-minute tasks, third-graders have three and so on.
What duties can you assign? Try weeding, watering, checking for bugs, picking ripe veggies, raking, digging or spreading. All these are easy, and if you “sell them” just right, encourage exploration, promote learning and stick to the time limit, then your kids will come to embrace their time in the garden.
We can hear you chiming in again: “No kid is going to want to weed a garden!” First off, don’t make them weed the whole garden! Assign them a short row, or only certain plants. Challenge your youngster to a contest to see who can pull the most weeds! Don’t hesitate to help, too! Think of your gardening time is meant to be a bonding experience, so cherish those opportunities to join up and work close together.
Of course, offering a reward at the end of each gardening session is a big help, too! Gardening rewards can include a yummy snack, screen time or playtime with you!
Also, be sure to rotate the chores. Give him or her something new to do each day and pretty soon you’ll have a young gardener with a green thumb of their own!
When you think about it, a lot of gardening is about numbers. Measurements and numbers help you feed plants the right amount, track the number of days until harvest and even gauge a “good year.” Recruit your junior gardener to help you keep track of things!
To do so, provide notebooks, pencils, crayons, measuring tape, ruler, measuring cups, rain gauges and any other helpful tools.
Have the child keep lists and mark calendars to track and answer all these important questions:
Measuring garden plants is a great scientific effort, but also urge your young gardener to make additional observations, including:
Be sure to let your child know that your garden isn’t just about the “green things” that sprout up from the dirt. It’s also about the furry things, the feathered things, the scaly things and the buzzing things! Beyond all those plants, a garden is teeming with wildlife! In fact, there are ways to attract even more wildlife. Make sure your youngster sees it all because gardening for kids doesn’t have to be just about the plants.
Instead, show the kids how and why animals come to visit your garden and yard. This is the time to ask why butterflies and hummingbirds have found your garden. Let your youngster come up with a theory about why a spider has spun its web in a certain place. Ask for answers to all the life they’re seeing.
Most of all, remember that some youngsters will find the animals in the garden far more interesting than what you’re growing! That’s OK, too, because, once again, at least they’re outside!
As you discuss these creatures, break them down into categories that are easy for you to talk about. Try focusing on one such topic a day. By doing so, you can better prepare your lessons with the help of wildlife books and online insect guides! Consider these simple topics:
As you learn about each, make plans to accommodate all these studies! If your child is learning about butterflies, try setting aside an area to create a butterfly garden. When you start learning about how rabbits exploit a garden, also take time to explore their behaviors and habits away from the garden, too.
The key here is to open your youngster’s eyes to the world around him or her!
Just as kids are drawn to the animals visiting your garden, they can also be drawn to the creative side of the garden. Creativity in the garden? You bet!
For adults, gardening is a peaceful, rewarding experience. That’s great, of course, but it doesn’t have to just be about a moment of Zen each afternoon or even a plateful of green at the end of the season.
Here are just a few ways to help children explore their creative passions:
Gardens can be an endless source of creative ideas, so don’t stop with these suggestions. Come up with more and help your child grow in their ability to express themselves!
Most of all, you should see this as a way to get your favorite youngsters away from their TVs, videogames, tablets and smartphones. Encourage them to join you outside as you dig in the dirt and reap the benefits of creating your own outdoor paradise.
Make sure you show them how gardening can change their lives. Bring them out to enjoy the fresh air. Let them feel the dirt on their hands, knees and feet. Encourage them to fill their senses with everything your garden has to offer. Gardening can be a wonderful experience. Just remember that the kids in your life may need a gentle push in that direction!
This is the time to deliver that new experience!
Are you ready to plan your garden so that the kids can enjoy it, too? If so, Safer® Brand wants to hear about what you do! Stop by the Safer® Brand Facebook page and tell us about your plans and send photos, too!
Looking for a way to keep your garden pests under control and save money? Subscribe to the Safer® Brand E-Newsletter for links to OMRI Listed® products you need and more helpful articles like this one.