Getting Kids Into Gardening: A Foolproof Guide

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There are plenty of reasons why gardening is good for kids – both in terms of the health and the exercise that it naturally brings.

 

However… how many kids actually care about those things? Probably not many!

 

That’s why many parents find themselves struggling with a dilemma. They want their kids to garden; they know it’s good for them… and the kids have absolutely no desire to do it. Why would they? They’re distracted by their friends, kicking back and enjoying the summer holidays – spending a sweaty afternoon outside isn’t that appealing to a young mind!

 

However, if you can manage it, you might be able to encourage a lifelong love of gardening and the outdoors. So if you’re determined this is going to be the summer they spend more time looking at soil rather than screens, you might have a battle on your hands – but it’s one you can win.

 

TACTIC ONE: Show Them The Results

 

Often, gardening seems outright boring to kids – and probably a few adults as well! That’s especially true if you focus only on maintenance tasks like weeding; it’s hard for that to capture the imagination of a child.

 

What can capture their imagination is seeing the growing process from seed to finished plant. For that reason, it’s a good idea to kick off their learning with some quick-growing plants. With this technique, they will be able to see the results of their hard work in front of them.

 

TACTIC TWO: Food To Grow

 

While your flowers might be your pride and joy, one of the most effective ways of nurturing a young mind is to have them involved in growing something they can eventually eat. This is the same theory as the first tactic, only moreso. After all, being able to see the results of your effort is one thing – but being able to eat it? Even better!

 

Tomatoes and corn on the cob are some of the simplest vegetables to grow and most kids will find them tasty, so that’s a good place to begin.

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TACTIC THREE: Find Out Why They’re Resistant

 

It might be that your children just don’t want to garden as there are things they would prefer to be doing – but there might be a deeper cause that you’re overlooking.

 

It might sound odd to you – an experienced gardener – but for kids, the garden can be a scary place. That is only compounded if when they venture outside, some critter decides to bite them – and let’s face it, most gardeners will usually have a few bites to show for their work.

 

Make sure when they take their first tentative steps outside that you’re ready for any bug or pest problems. An over-the-counter insect repellent should keep them mainly clear of anything taking a nibble. Spiders and other arachnids are a little harder to deter, which is why it’s a good idea to check this article out and ensure you have got some solutions on hand in case your kids are unlucky. By showing them that you’re prepared to solve any critter-based problems should they arrive, it should help to bolster their confidence.

 

TACTIC FOUR: Gardening As Chores

 

Finally, if all else fails, then you can make gardening part of your kids general household chores.

 

This isn’t the best method for fostering a love of gardening. No one enjoys chores, and your kids might resent the idea of having to be involved in the garden at all. While it’s possible they might discover they like it while they have to do it, for the most part, it will just be dismissed along with all the other unpleasant chores most kids have to do.

 

So why do it? Because it still gets them gardening. The benefits of being outdoors and spending time growing things is genuinely good for children, especially if they would otherwise be consumed with digital media. It’s a nice break from staring at screens or watching too much TV, so even if you have to coerce them into it, it’s still worth doing. It’s not ideal, but it will get them outside with their hands in the dirt. That, after all, is the main point.

 

Therefore, if you use one of the above tactics, that you might just be able to foster a mini-gardener. It might take some cajoling and even some problem-solving, but it’s work worth doing. You never know, you might just gift them a new hobby that will last them a lifetime.

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