When spring arrives, it’s time to think about how your kids will continue to grow after school ends. Whether you make them review math problems on flashcards or sign them up for summer classes, they should also try new hobbies at home. Gardening teaches many life skills, so check out how to grow a garden with your kids this spring to turn their education into something fun.
1. Get Them Excited
At first, kids might not realize why gardening is important. All they know is that they’ll have to dig in the dirt when it’s hot outside.
Don’t let them dwell on what they might not enjoy. Instead, get them excited by asking them to draw how they’d decorate the garden.
They can doodle plants, signs and how they’d layout the garden. It gives them more control over their new hobby and makes it something they chose to do.
2. Give Them Options
Children might not know what they can grow, so give them options. Show them a list of plants with pictures that catch the eye.
Names and details won’t be enough for kids to get excited to bring home new plants or seed packets. Pictures get kids interested and show them what they can bring into reality.
They’ll also enjoy not being told what to grow, which separates a hobby from a childhood chore.
Ownership makes gardening more exciting for people of all ages, but not if they struggle to grow what they plant. Look into different varieties and make a list of easy plants before presenting the options to your kids.
No matter what they pick, you’ll know they can handle the planting and maintenance.
3. Find Fun Tools
Outdoor and indoor gardens both need gardening tools. Take your kids shopping so they can pick out the tools they prefer.
Watering cans and trowels will make growing plants easier and more fun if they feature their favorite colors or cartoon characters. Invest in the tools so your family has everything they need to grow the plants they picked out for themselves.
Teaching children about gardening with a food reward is an effective and educational way to allow them to grow an appreciation for the environment and all it has to offer.
The way that your balcony garden is set up depends on how much space you have—some people are able to have small garden beds while others may need to think about vertical garden planters.
4. Research Poisonous Plants
Even common plants can pose a health risk to young kids and pets. Carefully research every plant before presenting them as options for your family’s garden.
Something as familiar as aloe vera will cause vomiting and extreme diarrhea if your dog tries a bite while everyone’s weeding or watering. You never know what could happen while everyone’s outside, so avoid planting anything that could be poisonous to any members of your family.
5. Update Their Chore List
After planting seeds and watering their garden for the first time, your children may forget to keep up with their new routine. Add basic garden care to their chore list so they establish garden care habits without constant reminders.
You can list essential responsibilities like watering, weeding and moving potted plants indoors when weather experts warn that frost will occur overnight.
6. Take Weekly Pictures
Growing plants takes time. Kids of all ages can lose interest because they don’t see their garden changing overnight. They also won’t get the flowers or vegetables they want immediately, so take weekly pictures to encourage them.
When they grow discouraged or bored, show them how much they’ve accomplished through the photos. They’ll see their work in action and find inspiration in your reminder.
7. Create a Contest
Challenge your kids to a little healthy competition in your backyard. Whoever grows the biggest flower or the tastiest tomato by the end of the summer wins. The competition drives them to form gardening habits more quickly and shines a light on prizes they can look forward to.
Make sure the prize is worth it to them. Look up ideas for inspiration to find cool prize ideas for all ages. Bathtub chalk, new dolls or a video game could be all they need to fall in love with gardening. While they daydream about winning, they’ll develop skills like time management, responsibility and dedication.
8. Show Off Their Work
Children feel proud of their work when their parents recognize it. Show off their gardening accomplishments during your next cookout or while they have friends over.
Post about their plants on social media and show them encouraging comments from friends and family. They’ll beam with pride and want to keep going, even if gardening isn’t their favorite activity.
Grow a Garden With Your Kids This Spring
Spring is a great time to start a garden with your kids. They’ll soon have more free time during summer vacation and need something to keep them active. Now that you know how to grow a garden with your kids this spring, start using these tips to get your family involved.
Pick out tools, choose non-toxic plants and add gardening responsibilities to everyone’s chore charts so taking care of plants becomes a long-term bonding experience.