Ten Ways To Get Your Kids Involved In Gardening This Year

Gardening is work, no doubt about it. But its also fun, and can also be a way for the entire family to enjoy a hobby when children, as well as parents, become involved. Gardening is also a great way to teach your little ones about responsibly caring for other living things and increase their appreciation for our wonderful natural world.

To help you get started, here are 10 ways to get your children interested in taking up gardening, getting them actively involved and help them to become true little gardeners:

Buy them their own gardening tools. The more colorful, smaller tools make it easier for youngsters to spend quality time gardening with parents, grandparents or older siblings. Be sure to buy a small wheelbarrow and a good pair of gardening gloves for little hands as well. Wal-Mart carries kiddy sized gardening tools in complete sets for under $20.

Take them along when you shop for seeds and plants at nurseries and garden centers. Use the time to explain the different kinds of plants and involve them in making the final selections for your garden.

gardening with kids

Once home, give them their own small garden patch to care for. Help them get started in cultivating it and oversee planting. Explain how often their gardens will need to be weeded, watered, fertilized and so on and schedule times when you can be present or nearby for performing these chores.

Buy them an age-appropriate illustrated book about gardening so that they can learn about plants when they need something to do indoors. Barnes and Noble carry a few awesome popup books that your kids may love.

Set specific times for family gardeningperhaps early evening and a weekend morningand adhere to this schedule religiously to promote garden togetherness. Children will enjoy gardening more when it becomes part of their routines, and having specific times gives them something to look forward to on a regular basis.

Let the kids make picture stakes to place beside each row of vegetable or flowering plants so theyll know what to expect as plants mature.

Buy a blank calendar and have children decorate it with pictures of plants in their gardens. Add notes about when their plants were planted, when they need to be watered, fertilized and weeded and when they should mature on the appropriate days.

Suggest ways that children can turn plant harvests into gifts for friends and other family members, such as drying fruits and vegetables for winter use.

Think of games you can play while gardening such as who can pull the most weeds in the least amount of time, and give small prizes for winning.

Finally, make certain to give plenty of praise and encouragement to young gardeners. Make gardening an activity to be enjoyed, not one to dread!

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