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How to get kids interested in gardening

Getting your kids interested in gardening might feel like an impossible task.  Why would children want to help with the garden when they...

How to get kids interested in gardening
Getting your kids interested in gardening might feel like an impossible task.  Why would children want to help with the garden when they can play computer games and browse the internet?  However, maybe it is time that we work to inspire our young people into the outdoors. Gardening is an effective means of managing physical and mental health. It can keep us fit, and interaction with nature can ease stress and anxiety.  Connection with our planet is also essential to our future survival and the development of our spirit.  Therefore, we need to learn how to get kids interested in gardening.

You will know your child better than anyone.  You will know how they love to learn.  Therefore, it is about employing this knowledge to maximise the opportunities available in the garden.  Start by considering how they engage with the world.  Do they love physical activity? Do they love music, or words, or the chance to organise?  Whatever approach will work is worth a try.

Live life through colours and shapes

Some children are visual learners.  They love nothing more than working with colours and shapes to create something.  Get them to design your beds and borders.  You could even give them their area and the chance to design a space exactly as they would wish.

Live life through colours and shapes

Live for the activity, the dirt and the scraped knees

There are those kids that just need to get on and so stuff.  They are physical learners and love interacting through activity. Therefore, you can get them digging and hoeing.  You can get them watering the garden – and maybe you – as well as pushing their hands into the soil.

Live for the logic of sequence and cycles

Nature is perfect for logical learners, as it is all about cause and effect and cycles.  On initial observation, the natural world can appear chaotic.  However, there are sequences and processes that can engage the mathematical mind.  Encouraging children to map out and plan the garden and apply facts about the gardening world to the space you work with.

Kids and gardening

Live for the music, the sounds and the conversation

There are so many sounds in the garden to engage the aural learner.  They should be able to find harmony and stimulation everywhere.  From the buzzing of the insects to the wind through the trees and the crunch of feet through leaves.  Better still, you can encourage the children to talk with you in the garden, to share stories and ideas.

If they are verbal learners, you can use words effectively in the garden.  You can inspire passion through gardening books and stories focused around a garden.  Alternatively, you can work with your child on your gardening journaling or an online blog.

Take an interest and help them see how it applies

It might not be just about the way a child learns or how they engage with the world.  You could also use interests and hobbies and extend this into the garden.  You can also think about their personality and how gardening could complement their strengths.  For instance, quiet, reflective children fit well into the garden – but so do those who crave adventures and experience.

If your child likes competition, then you can quickly bring this into your garden.  You could give all the children a patch each and get them to compete against each other to produce the best flowers, the biggest vegetables or the most fruit.  Alternatively, you could set a manual task and then switch on the stopwatch – who can finish first?

Children intrigued by science will love the bogs in the garden.  Get them to look at the world of the garden through a microscope, encourage them to understand biodiversity, and to monitor species in the garden.  Doing citizen science projects in the garden can give this study some proper purpose that could inspire.

If your child is a fan of food and cooking, then gardening is the perfect complimentary activity.  You can create a fruit and veg haven in your garden, which is then brought into the kitchen.  There is something essential in the connection between our food and nature.  Children need better awareness of how we are reliant on the cycles of the environment for our future.  Although you would not want to scare children about sustainability issues – and potential climate crises, you could help them understand why we need to protect the planet.

*Collaborative post

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