How to Get Kids Interested in Gardening
Planting Seeds with Children
Many gardeners are also interested in growing a love of gardening in their children. The way to do that is to get your kids involved in gardening and empower them to take ownership of it. This article gives your some concrete ways to get your kids interested in gardening.
Spend Time With Them in the Garden
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it can be overlooked. You may have heard that kids spell love: “TIME.” They want to spend time with you (except maybe some teenagers). Be sure you schedule time for them to work in the garden with you, don’t simply tell them to go out and do it on their own.
Give Them Their Own Tools
Giving your kids their own gardening tools will give them ownership and make them feel special. It is a great way to get your kids interested in gardening. Who doesn’t like getting presents? Most kids will be excited to use their own new tools in the garden. Be careful about buying smaller sized cutesy tools. Some kids love these but other kids want to use the exact same tools that Mommy or Daddy use. Don't force them to use a tool they view as a “baby” tool if they are excited about helping in the garden. A bonus to this strategy is that you can also teach them about taking care of their tools.
Growing great tomatoes takes time, so does growing a great gardener. If your child gets bored or frustrated after 15 minutes in the garden, that’s fine, let them go do something else while you finish. Maybe next time they will work a little longer. It is much better for them to have a positive 15 minute gardening experience than a negative 45 minute garden experience.
Let Them Choose What to Plant, Planting Seeds with Children
Involve your kids in choosing what to plant. Bring them to the nursery with you and let them pick out a couple plants or plant varieties. Or, look through a seed catalog with them and let them pick out some wacky heirloom varieties that they cant get at the grocery store. Giving them some choice in what to plant int he garden gives them ownership and makes them feel invested in the project. They will want to see how the purple tomatoes turn out.
Teach Them About Worms
Worms are great for the garden and kids love them. Teach your kids how worms can help a garden and ask them to be on the lookout for any worms. When they see them after a rain storm have them pick them up and throw them in the garden. Worm compost is some of the best compost you can add to your garden. Consider keeping a worm composting bin if your kids love playing with worms.
Give Them Their Own Space in the Garden
After your kid’s gardeing interest has sprouted. Give them their own small space in the garden to grow whatever they want. Be careful, this needs to be a positive experience so set them up to succeed by giving them a small space and providing them with lots of support and encouragement.
Please leave a comment if you have any other tips for getting your kids interested in gardening. Enjoy a lifetime of gardening with your children.