Our kids need to learn new life skills that can help them grow an appreciation for the world we live in. What better way to do this than by teaching them how to garden? Gardening is a healthy and fun activity for people of all ages, not just kids, and it’s also something that the whole family can do together as a bonding activity. Parents also don’t have to worry about their kids’ safety because there is a variety of light activities that the kids can get involved in, such as weeding, mulching, planting, and even cooking once they grow some produce.
Gardening can be a great way to teach your kids to care for the planet and its living things. Here are some tips and fun and light activities you can do to teach them how to go gardening:
Teach your kids the basics of soil care
If you leave in an area that floods often, that may be a good starting point to teach your kids why gardening is necessary. When you’re hiring a team of professionals to employ a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) for your home, invite your kids to listen to the experts and observe the process. When they realize that gardening can protect their home and keep their bodies healthy, they might be more inclined to be interested in it as a hobby or lifelong passion.
Let them try light gardening activities
Here is a list of child-friendly gardening activities that your kids can try:
- Watering the plants and the entire garden
- Re-potting or replanting
- Digging the soil
- Using organic fertilizer to prepare the soil
- Deadheading, or removing dried flowers from ornamental plants
- Gathering dried flowers and seeds
- Removing weeds
- Picking flowers
- Composting, mulching, and recycling
- Teaching them which flowers, vegetables, and fruits grow in the correct season and planting them together
- Using worms as fertilizer
- Creating some DIY projects and decorative ornaments using plants, harvested seeds, and flowers
- Preparing delicious salads and doing meal preps for their school lunchbox
- Picking fruits and vegetables once they’re at their healthiest and ready to be harvested and eaten
These activities are all light and easy enough for kids of all ages to try, so don’t hesitate to make these tasks an activity for the whole family.
Child-proof your yard
But before you get your kids into your yard, make sure the whole area is child-proof. Here are some things you need to tick off your to-do list:
- Make sure that the fences are tall and secure, and that no unwanted guests or wildlife can enter. Moreover, it needs to be secure enough so that your kids aren’t able to just wander off, especially if they’re on the younger side.
- If you have pointy or more dangerous tools, invest in a high table that your kids can’t reach. Give your kids tools that won’t harm them. Hand them tools that are appropriate for their size.
- Keep fertilizers, sprays, and other chemicals out of their reach. Keep those products stored if they’re not needed. Speaking of chemicals, just opt for organic products as much as possible. Check the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of safe products and ingredients to find child-safe gardening products for your home.
- Invest in safe storage for your tools and equipment.
- Put sunscreens on your kids if you’re spending a lot of time in the garden while the sun is still up. Put a hat, protective clothing, and gumboots on them as well.
- Avoid leaving buckets of water unattended while your toddlers or very young kids are running around.
- Invest in some big shade cloths or umbrellas.
Bring them to a farmers market
Aside from doing some actual gardening, nothing will teach them an appreciation for the Earth more than meeting farmers who are doing this for a living. When your kids garden at home, they see how the process works, but seeing the business side of it will provide them with the big picture and a keen understanding of how the whole thing works. We also need to support our local farmers because they’re key to feeding a growing world, and your kids will learn that firsthand when they meet a farmer.
Gardening is one of the things that parents often forget to teach their kids, so take this unique time in history to impart to your kids the value of agriculture and why we need to protect our planet if we want to feed people for generations to come. Just be sure to make it fun and safe for everyone.