The garden is a space for everyone of all ages to enjoy and learn. Even tiny tots can be fascinated by growing plants and find it a whole lot of fun too. From planting to pruning to growing their own fruit and vegetables, children can absorb a sense of how plants grow, how the seasons play their role and how, with a little care and attention, green things will flourish under their fingers.
And the best part? They’ll be having so much fun gardening that it won’t feel like any effort involved at all. I’ve been looking at ways to get children gardening, so I’d like to share just a few project ideas to give your children their first taste of gardening without overwhelming them and putting them off.
Children, these days, tend to spend more time than we’d like indoors fixated to their screens. However, once tempted into the garden they soon realise there’s more adventures to be had outdoors. Making it fun is the key.
Getting your children involved in gardening is a brilliant way to interact with nature, get some exercise and learn almost without realising it. Whether it’s getting them sowing their own seeds, making friends with all of the little critters who call the garden their home or taking care of their own patch of earth.
I have such fond memories of the gardening competitions at school, growing our own sunflowers and making DIY bird feeders. And what the school did brilliantly was to keep things simple. If you’ve got children, you’ll know they can become easily distracted, and if they aren’t having fun they don’t want to do it!
Give them their own space
Providing a sunny spot where your children can watch their seeds sprout is sure to keep them entertained. When choosing your seeds, pick easy-to-grow plants such as tomatoes, potatoes or salad leaves. They’ll be producing their own vegetables, affording them the opportunity to understand the importance of healthy eating, as well as how food arrives on their plate. Flowers and herbs such as mint, chives, nasturtium and marigolds can be a simple addition too, whilst adding a little visual delight.
Making sure your children are properly equipped for the garden is equally important as their own space. From tiny trugs to dinky dibbers, Bloomsbury Home has put together a sweet kit of gardening tools for pint-size plants-people with everything they need to get them growing.
Make a bug box
This simple bug box project for your children only requires an open box. Let the children run around the garden picking up natural materials to place in the box, such as sticks, leaves and stones. A small log or piece of wood makes an excellent home for creepy-crawlies, whilst the piles of pine cones, stones, broken pots, twigs and dried grass can be added to attract ladybirds, woodlice and if they’re lucky, maybe even a toad.
Create a succulent display
I’m a big fan of giving easy-to-care for succulents to little ones to care for. Succulents are a brilliant initial plant for your children to look after as they look great in pots and only require the lightest maintenance and watering.
Take your nippers to your local garden centre and let them choose their own plants. You can either pot them individually or pot them in a small arrangement in a bigger pot. These can stay outside over summer and then can be transferred to a bedroom windowsill in autumn, providing interest for many more months.