Ways to boost your Kids' Interest in Gardening
We all know, gardening is a rewarding activity for our physical and mental health. How many times have you wanted your kids to join you into the garden or wanted them to get out of the house and step into nature, especially since last year. Well, force them into something and they will never want to do it. Why not find some interesting ways to get them to actually enjoy this beautiful and rewarding activity rather than make it feel like a chore. Cause who wants grumpy kids near plants or at home? Let’s find out ways we can help the younger generation to develop an interest in gardening and make it a hobby they will carry for life.
- Build interest: Start with taking them to the garden and getting them introduced to their favorite flowers,herbs and other greens. Tell them about the journey of a plant from seed and some interesting facts about them. Curiosity gives way to interest in the young minds.
- Make it fun: Nobody likes to do chores. We all know it so why expect it from children to be interested in it. Make it interesting and fun by asking them what they want to start with and get those seeds. Preferably of their favorites. Help them by planting the seeds and giving them the responsibility of taking care of that one plant.
- Don’t rush or overwhelm them: Do not give them multiple plants to grow at a time. Start slow and let them take care of that one plant and let them watch it go from one stage to another. It’s getting their feet wet. Patience is the key here.
- Give them their personal patch: Be it just a single plant in the beginning but having their own section will make them feel empowered and responsible in this journey. It doesn't have to be a piece of land. Just a planter would do as well. The idea is for them to feel the ownership of something they set out to do and to see it through.
- Ask them for their opinion and apply them: Don’t trivialize their participation by making them feel like they are just kids. Infact, asking them for what they think we should grow this season or what are their thoughts on the present state of the garden and what improvements can be made. Apply those modifications if they are right or help them steer those opinions in the right direction as per the garden needs. Don’t push those ideas away. They are the seeds in the mind of a budding gardener. Making them a part of the process makes them feel important and included and gives them encouragement to go further.
- Let them get dirty: Gardening can get messy. Don’t cringe or stop them from getting some soil on them. It’s a part of the learning process and good for them to get some antibodies and strong immunity as well. It also makes them feel a part of the gardening process. Alternately, if your kid doesn't like to get their hands dirty, then start with getting them some fun gardening gloves for kids. Eventually they will learn to love all parts of the garden. Soil and all.
- Celebrate their achievements and show off their produce: It might be tempting to tell them all the wrong things happening in their garden but instead first share with them all the good things that are happening and how good they are doing. Share it with your neighbors, family and use their produce in the family meals. This helps build their confidence and interest and makes them feel useful in getting meals on the table with their hard work. Also, share insights on things you see need improvement and suggest changes to what can help their garden grow better.
Every process takes time and when nature has patience and time to offer you, why not share it with your kids and help them learn and enjoy this beautiful and fulfilling hobby.