Gardening is good for a child’s development, plus it’s a great way to spend some quality time together. Here are five tips to help you get your kids into gardening…

Gardening is good for a child’s development – from acquiring large and fine motor skills, to confidence building, to literacy and numeracy, to caring for the environment, it teaches so many important skills.

Plus it’s a great way to spend some quality time together. Here are five tips to help you get your kids into gardening.

1. Give them their own patch or pot

Give each child their own garden patch and let them take care of it themselves. If you don’t have space, give them pots. Make sure that this piece of garden is in a good location where there is adequate sunlight and good soil. You want to set your child up for success, not let them struggle.

2. Give them easy- or fast-growing plants, and keep it colourful

Especially for their first experience, give your kids plants that grow fast and without too much effort. Vegetables are great because your kids get to eat the produce in the end (also teaching them about healthy eating and understanding where food comes from), and flowers are colourful and fun to grow. Try sunflowers, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, radishes, carrots, peas, beans and nasturtiums.

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3. Encourage activities around gardening

Set up other activities that are coupled with gardening to both maintain your child’s interest, but also to give them the opportunity to learn more about the larger environmental context. This could include putting up a bird bath, starting a worm farm, and having rainfall measuring instruments.

4. Give them serious tools

Show kids that you take them seriously by giving them real gardening tools. Of course, help the kids with the more dangerous or bigger tools, but let them do easier work by themselves.

5. It’s as much your responsibility as theirs

Remember that you have to commit to teaching your child about gardening. Put time aside and be patient with the process. Remind them that they need to water their plants, or set up a chart that helps them remember their gardening tasks.

6. Take pride in their work

Showing that you are proud of their efforts is important in encouraging your child to continue with their gardening. Take pictures, show the garden to visitors, and enjoy the child’s harvest, no matter how small.