Being one with nature is essential to our well-being. With the pandemic keeping us cooped up at home, the closest thing we have right now is our garden.
The joy of gardening not only resonates with us adults, but also with our children. Studies have shown how gardening can mold a child. According to Lucy Jones, author of Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild, engaging with the natural world plays a pivotal role in children's development. It can ultimately define how they perceive the world, themselves, and the people around them.
Switching off the gadgets
We can all agree: Technology is a tricky thing. It's made our lives easier in numerous ways. However, it's left us distracted and absorbed in a digital world that left us unaware of our natural surroundings. The same goes for our kids. Children & Nature Network's co-founder and author Richard Louv posed an insightful thought: “What could our lives and our children’s lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in technology?”
It may be a huge decision to completely go off-the-grid for a lot of people but gardening with kids allows us a snippet of such a life closer to Mother Nature. It teaches our children how important it is to be connected with the very soil we stand on; how it feels to nurture a plant that in turn, will nurture your mind, body, and spirit.
Loosening it up
Perhaps one of the most common concerns surrounding gardening with kids is how handful it can be. The good news is it doesn't have to be. There are many ways having children in the garden can be productive, enriching, and most importantly, fun!
It starts with freeing yourself of this notion and understanding that gardening isn't always perfect. Plus, you don't need a big backyard or a complete set of tools to get you started. A more welcoming and less restrictive beginning can condition your children that gardening truly is an incredible activity.
Finding their area
The first step is to dedicate an area just for them. Not only does it set boundaries between their spot and the rest of the garden. It also gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility towards what they are taking care of.
"It's just a really simple little allotment that they can grow in and every morning check to see if it needs watering. If they've got their own area they care about it a lot more," gardening presenter, Lee Connelly explains.
Selecting starter seeds
When you're gardening with kids, you want to achieve the friendliest environment. You wouldn't want them feeling intimidated and frustrated that they find it more a chore than a fun activity.
Finding the right seeds for starters can help. There are plenty children can handle easily. Below are some of them:
- Runner Beans
While They Wait
Of course, gardening takes time. On top of teaching your kids patience while it grows, it's also productive to keep their excitement up while they wait.
There's still plenty to be done, like watering, weeding, and checking for bugs. Make it more fun by drawing DIY labels with your kids, decorating the garden, watching gardening how-to videos, and thinking of recipes once the vegetables and fruits are ripe for harvest.
Gardening with kids creates a bond like no other. Whether you're just starting out yourself or have grown a seasoned green thumb, make the experience more unforgettable with your children.