Friday, 28 September 2012

Guest Post: Getting Kids into Gardening

If you have access to a garden or allotment it can be a great opportunity to get your kids outside doing something fun and active. Gardening gives you the chance to spend time with them, and you all get to create something beautiful and rewarding together. Getting your kids excited about the garden might seem like a challenge, but there are actually lots of things you can do to engage them.

One way to bring out your kids enthusiasm for gardening is to let them take ownership of their work in the garden. For example, give them their own little patch which is theirs to do what they’d like with. You can also buy smaller, fun gardening tools just for kids from online shops like Spotty Green Frog. Kitting your kids out and giving them responsibility for a part of the garden makes the activity theirs and means they can feel really proud of what they achieve in their patch.


Another way to bring gardening to life for kids is to teach them about the wildlife that a garden supports. They can then work towards trying to attract particular animals to the garden, such as birds, squirrels, insects and frogs. You could set up a little bird house or bird feeder in your kids’ patch, to attract various species of bird and maybe even some squirrels too. Making your garden home to a few regular residents is a great way to make the garden lively and stimulating for kids.

There are lots of fun activities relating to gardening which you can use to get your kids into the idea of growing their own plants, trees and vegetables. For example, you can do lots of fun crafts with pressed flowers from the garden, like card making, decoupage, scrapbooking and so on. You can also take the kids out for a trip to pick your own fruit– blackberries, sloes, blueberries and apples are all in season right now, and enjoying your own foraged winnings really ignites the enthusiasm for growing fruit and veg at home.

When it comes to helping your kids decide what they’d like to grow in their patch, a mixture of flowers that will look beautiful and fruit and vegetables you can eat is a great idea – so the patch will look gorgeous and your kids will also get the gratification of eating their home grown fruit and veg. In the summer you can get the whole family involved in a tallest sunflower competition – this always brings out the competitive side in kids and adults! We’re heading towards winter now, but there are still lots of flowing winter plants such as irises, daphne bholua, Viburnum and springwood white heather. But the favourite cold season plant of kids everywhere has got to be the antirrhinum, better known as the snap dragon!

Finally, keep your kids engaged with gardening by making it a social activity, and combining it with other activities they already love. For example, why not encourage your children and their friends to start a gardening project at the school or youth club? Then gardening becomes something they work together with their friends on, and it can start to benefit the whole community too. There are also lots of fun online games kids can play to learn more about gardening and nature. Check out learninggameforkids.com or sciencekids.co.nz. If you’ve done a comparison of broadband prices you can happily leave the kids to enjoy some time online, which will hopefully encourage them to spend even more time out in the garden.

Happy gardening, and remember to take lots of pictures so you can look back and feel really proud of what you and your kids make of your garden together!

~ This is a guest post on behalf of Talk Talk

*Disclaimer: I received a payment for publishing this guest post. 

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