Do you remember the first time you went digging in the dirt? I was very young myself when my mother invited me to come outside and do some gardening. It was a blast when I was a child, and now that I have children of my own, I have found that gardening is a great activity that allows me to spend time with my kids while teaching them a few of life's little lessons at the same time. Here are a few suggestions may help your children to learn to love gardening!
Start small! Children have notoriously short attention spans, so don't start a huge bedding project or expect your child to help you dig a hole big enough for a sapling. It is probably best to start your gardening project inside, anyway by planting a few small rows of flower seeds for planting in the garden later.
Never force your child to work in the garden, or else it will become a chore. Explain at the start of your gardening season that gardening takes work and time, so you must make a commitment and follow through. This will teach your child to follow through on projects and may promote them to not be lazy in the future.
Let your children get dirty! I was never a very squeamish person when it came to sticking my hands in dirt, and it was one of the more fun parts of gardening in my opinion. Make some mud pies with your child and have some fun. After you play, then you can get to work!
Give your child easy and fun tasks to start. Digging the holes for small plants is tough for smaller children, but they do love the hose! I always found the watering was great fun for the kids. You could also set them an easy task like giving you the plants once you have dug the holes. It lets them take part in the creation of the garden.
If you have the space in a flower bed, allow your child to have their own vegetable or flower area that is just theirs to take care of. Encourage them to care for their area of the garden every day, and if you allow them to grow vegetables, they may even eat them!
Let your child be a part of the planning process for your garden. Take them with you to pick out what types of plants, so that you can explain which plants you need and why. Some areas of your garden may be shady, and you need to pick certain flowers for different areas. Gardening can be a Science Lesson in disguise! Children also have a love for colorful and bright things, so letting them pick flower colors and combinations will allow then to stretch their artistic side as well.
Take pictures of your progress over the season. Your child may appreciate it in the future if they can look back and see how they grew their first garden.
Enjoy your time with your child!