How about taking advantage of the summer to garden with the children?
Are the little ones on vacation and the weather is good? Now is the perfect time to introduce children to gardening. We take out the hoes and clogs, we keep them away from fragile plants and we let them put their hands in the soil to discover together the pleasure of gardening as a family.
Here are 5 ideas to introduce children to gardening during the summer holidays:
1. Introduce children to gardening through the senses
For younger people, learning necessarily involves the senses, whether it is touching, smelling or hearing. We plan to run a washing machine after the session, so, but we let the kids have fun with the earth! To introduce children to gardening, it is better to limit them to simple tasks. In all cases, we avoid big speeches and we stick to funny gardening stories, children learn more by practice than by theory. They are invited as soon as possible to touch a root or a leaf, to smell the flowers or to locate the birds to learn using their senses.
2. Tell stories to introduce children to gardening
Attention, to explain, we will have to adapt the speech to the age of young gardeners. Children like to understand things, and a suitable explanation makes sense while arousing curiosity to know more. We start with the basics, remaining very concrete, to explain how a plant lives. We can tell them about the roots, why the plant needs water to drink and nutrients from the earth to eat. For older children, we can talk about seasons or germination. And above all, we illustrate everything by showing them the roots and plants in question in the site; in the garden or on the balcony, to avoid losing their attention!
3. Introduce children to gardening through games
As is often the case with children, the secret of learning lies in having fun: to introduce children to gardening, no question of scolding them or inundating them with instructions. As we have said, it is better to stick to simple tasks that they can complete quickly and which will give them pride in a job well done! To make the exercise even more fun, don’t hesitate to equip them like real little gardeners, with gardening tools designed for kids; suit their size, easier to handle and above all, safe.
Even better? Try to make games of every gardening activity, by inventing stories, giving names to plants, making labels for the vegetable garden or decorating flower pots.
4. Manage the difficulty in introducing children to gardening
No need to remind you that waiting months for a shoot to emerge from the ground requires patience that the little ones do not have. When it comes to initiating children to gardening, the choice of activity is essential, as well as the choice of crops. They must be able to complete their task quickly, and if possible, see the results in practice.
The top? Water, dig holes to plant something in or sow seeds. And to keep them interested in gardening over time, it is better to opt for short but regular family gardening sessions, rather than making them spend a whole day doing garden activities.
The right measure? Give them assignments that are easy to complete in less than 15 minutes, and do not retain them for more than an hour until they are six or seven.
5. Introduce children to vegetable gardening
The advantage of the vegetable garden, when introducing children to gardening, is that the results are concrete, visible, relatively quick, and above all, they end up on the plate. Teaching them how to grow a vegetable garden not only introduces children to gardening, but also helps them understand seasonality, and even makes them love vegetables. All small gardeners take pleasure in harvesting what they sowed and then cook it and taste it. In this case, we opt for productive and quick-growing plants; the best are strawberries and cherry tomatoes.
To make them want to get involved, we can even give them their own vegetable patch or assign each kid responsibility for a variety of fruit or vegetable!