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08, Jun 2021 | Lifestyle  

How to Encourage Children to Love Gardening

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Children getting involved in constructive activities such as gardening are a good way to minimize their free time, which they could otherwise use to idle around and get involved in other vices. In addition to keeping children busy, gardening is also a good chance for them to exercise and learn some skills.

Playground for Children inspired by the Outdoors

Playground for Children inspired by the Outdoors

This article is a guest post by Adrianne Hunk

Gardening also improves a child’s cognitive development as they learn to master the whole process of gardening right from preparing seedlings, watering, pruning, and weeding the plants.  By learning the different names of plants with their different characteristics, children are able to improve their literacy skills as well. With these and many more benefits gardening has on children, the big task is how to get them to appreciate and grow some liking for gardening. Below are 4 tips that can help you lure your young ones to love gardening.

  • Practice consistency  in your gardening

One of the most reliable ways to make children grow to love something is consistency in doing it. They eventually create a routine and a sense of responsibility. When you grow plants and take care of them all the year through, kids no matter how young will go with the flow and learn to love gardening.

During winter when seedlings cannot thrive with the seedbeds covered with snow and plants cannot thrive through the extremely low temperatures, you can continue gardening in a grow tent. The idea of seeing plants thrive in an alternative environment can go a long way in raising curiosity in children of all ages. To make it even more interesting and attractive to the kids, allow them to help with grow tent setup. This way, they will be more eager to learn about the plants growing in the tents. Eventually, they learn to control the humidity, air conditioning and adjust the heaters for the plants in the tents.

  • Allow the child to have some independence while gardening

After some time of gardening together with the young ones and guiding them, it is essential to allow them a small space to set up their own garden. Regardless of how small it could be, the child will surely get interested in ensuring what belongs to them is as good as the others if not better. This way, they can develop a norm of checking their plants more often. By developing seeds for a beautiful flower/plant by themselves, the children get to appreciate their work which boosts their self-esteem. This is also a good way for them to learn how to care for nature at large on top of being responsible for what they have.

  • .      Introduce fast-growing plants/flowers with different characteristics

Naturally, a child would want to see results fast unlike adults. They are more likely to get interested when they see their handwork is bearing fruits. For example, you can try growing petunias flowers which bloom within a very short time and can withstand relatively harsh weather conditions. Such quick results can motivate and raise the children’s morale.

Children learn to appreciate all plants when exposed to plants with different characteristics.  For instance, exposing them to plants with sweet smells like Gardenia or thorny ones like the flowering quince is a good way to show them that plants are different. This can teach them to be tolerant of all plants even when they are not necessarily what they would want them to be.

  • Allow them to record progress and if  possible create a gardening contest

By creating a recording structure like a chart, you would be luring the children to be more attentive in their gardening so as they are able to record even the very minor changes with the plants. This improves their ability to pay attention to details and keeps them interested in order to complete the charts.

It is typical for children to love competing with others. If you can, establish a gardening competition among the family members and get to appreciate the winner in the contest. In the effort to emerge the winners, children work to ensure they get the best. It is a way of encouraging them to work hard.

To add to these benefits that come along with teaching the children how to garden is the opportunity to bond even more with them. You can learn to understand their talents, strengths, and weaknesses which is a good start to nurture, encourage and help them in other areas of their lives.

This article is a guest post by Adrianne Hunk

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