In theory, gardening should be appealing to a lot of kids. What child doesn’t like getting dirty and covered in mud? But just in case your family haven’t caught the gardening bug yet – here’s some of our favourite hints, tricks and ideas that might turn your kids fingers green.
Inspire them first
It seems obvious that if your children don’t show any interest in nature, wildlife or things that grow, you’ll struggle to get them involved in gardening. So an idea that might help send your kids down the garden path (literally!) is to show them an inspirational and exciting garden first. One option for this is the world-famous Eden Project in Cornwall. These huge biomes, as well as the surrounding area, are impressive and interesting enough to engage even the most sceptical of young gardeners. Alongside this, the Eden Project offers a range of courses, workbooks and activities for children to engage them with the living world, and hopefully nurture a love for all things that grow.
Aim for quick results!
Young children aren’t exactly renowned for their patience, so start your kids off with a few small plant pots or a section of a flower bed, and keep the time investment minimal. If your kids get into it and want to plant more, brilliant!
It’s also a good idea to focus on fast-growing plants, such as marigolds, sunflowers, peas or poppies, so that your children can see results quickly and don’t lose interest.
Getting your children to help grow your garden vegetables might even deliver the added bonus of making them more inclined to eat them too! It’s always said that if it comes from your garden and you’ve worked hard to produce it, it’ll naturally taste better. While this is true for physiological reasons, there is also a mental element to it. The pride of successfully producing food will make it all the sweeter, whether you are a big or little kid!
There is a reason that schools often host sunflower growing competitions. The plants are easy to look after, grow to an impressive height and are truly stunning when they’re in full bloom. Conversely, herbs and salad leaves that all look very similar to a child will not hold the same appeal.
Let them express themselves
As mentioned previously, you may need to factor in a low attention span when planning a garden with young children so anything you can do to boost their interest and keep things fresh will help keep it engaging. Perhaps let them paint their own plant pots, or make some nice plant labels from colourfully decorated lolly sticks. If they show a keen interest, you can also buy child-size models of garden tools from most garden centres, perfect for smaller hands!
Got any other hints, tips or tricks? Let us know!