It can be difficult to get children interested in anything other than computer games and surfing the net, especially when it’s something outside and there is no immediate reward.
However, it is worth persevering when trying to get little ones excited about gardening. It is a great way to teach some life lessons and helps them get a good dollop of fresh air.
If you’re fighting a losing battle when trying to nurture a love of gardening, these tips could help turn the tide.
No Gardening, No Chips
Although it might just about constitute blackmail, place an embargo on chips until the kids help you plant and nurture potato plants. By growing your own potatoes for chips, as well as roast, boiled and mashed potatoes, you’ll be cutting your food bill and encouraging the kids to get involved.
Potatoes are a relatively simple crop to grow. Additionally, involving the kids in the process can help educate them where food comes from, ensuring they’re grateful for the grub that makes its way to their plates.
Start on Easy Settings
Many kids can be easily discouraged when trying something new. If they don’t immediately get the hang of the process and the discipline, they may be prone to giving up. This makes it important to ensure that their early ventures into the world of gardening are positioned on an easy learning curve. Pick flowers that are notoriously easy to grow, and ones that show their results relatively quickly with minimal risk of failure.
The RHS always argues that sunflowers are among the easiest plants to grow. They’re ideal for the kids’ first ventures in the world of gardening. Plus their big yellow faces are the simple-to-identify sign of a job well done.
Let Them Get Muddy
One of the best things about being in the garden is that some of the house rules are chucked right out the window. Let them listen to their natural instincts and get really, really muddy. From digging with their hands to going barefoot, let them enjoy the freedom.
Naturally, it’s a good idea to put together a cleaning station outside the back door so the kids can get hosed and scrubbed down before dragging their dirty footprints through the house.
Plan for 12 Months
Although the annual cold snap may kill many types of plants, it is possible to keep the gardening efforts going throughout the entire year. From picking hardy plans which can survive throughout the winter to bringing the plants indoors to protect them from the effects of the cold weather – there are ways to ensure that gardening is an all year round pastime.
London-based gardening experts, Capital Gardens, explain: “If you want to keep your winter blooming through the winter, there are a number of plants capable of surviving the low temperatures such as the sweet box, winter aconite, snowdrop, and honeysuckle. These plants mean you don’t have to abandon your garden just because the weather takes a turn for the worse.”
Let Them Make Their Own Mistakes
If you’re constantly stood over their shoulder offering gardening critique, many kids will soon get fed up of the entire thing and get lured back indoors. Let them go at their own pace and make their own mistakes so they can develop their own love of gardening, and their own special ways of doing things.