Parents and grandparents are being encouraged to involve their little ones in gardening activities this summer to introduce them to a fun hobby they enjoy in the fresh air.
Green-fingered experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk have put together their top tips to help make gardening more appealing for kids.
1 Grow food they like to eat
Children can be picky about their fruit and vegetables, so it might be best letting them choose for themselves what they want to grow. This way it gives them a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
2 DIY garden projects
There’s plenty of creative crafts to make your garden look more fun and funky. For example, you can paint your planters in colourful patterns or make garden markers by painting on stones.
3 Start with smaller projects
It’s best not to overwhelm the little gardeners with projects that might be a bit too difficult to handle. Consider starting off with a small patch in the garden and choose plants that are easy to grow, like lettuce, peas, radishes or onions. You can also find grow your own veg patch kits for kids.
4 Get them their own tools
Make your kids feel more independent by getting them their own gardening supplies. There are kids tools designed for even the littlest gardeners which will be easier and safer to use. Plus, they come in all kinds of different colourful designs and patterns.
5 Let them have their own space in the garden
Allow them to have a specific garden bed or veg patch that they can be in charge of. This way they can choose for themselves what they want to grow there, it won’t be too overwhelming to manage the smaller plot and they can proudly show off what they produce.
6 Create a plant journal
To keep track of all of the different plants in your garden it’s good to get a plant journal. Kids can use them to record what happens when their planted seeds grow into plants. You can make the journal yourself or find a printable version .
7 Cook something together from the produce
A way to motivate the children to keep up with their gardening chores can be to plan a fun family cooking session using the vegetables and fruit they’ve grown themselves.
8 Involve their friends in the process
You can turn gardening into a social activity by including their friends in the project. For example, their friends could come over to work together on some chores in the garden and have a playdate. They could also compare how their plants are growing and share the responsibilities.
9 Read gardening books to them
There are many children’s books about gardening, plants and nature which might get kids more interested in spending more time outdoors and wanting to do some work in the garden.
10 Get a sprinkler for summer
Combine watering your plants and entertaining the children with fun water games by purchasing a sprinkler. Leave it on and it’ll cross watering off your to do list and at the same time it’ll also give the kids an opportunity to cool themselves while playing in the water.
11 Set up fairy lights in the garden
What could make a better atmosphere on a summer evening than some nice fairy lights hung up in the garden? This could give the children some motivation to do their daily plant watering on those warm summer evenings.
12 Have fun!
Gardening comes with all kinds of different responsibilities and some of them might be quite mundane. Take on those tedious tasks and let them do the fun bits.