Besides being a great way to relax and learn as an adult, working in the garden can also be an incredibly valuable experience for children. But children don’t experience the world in the same way as adults do, so getting them interested in gardening requires a whole new perspective. Try these few suggestions for making gardening a family affair, some of which are from Apartment Therapy.
- Show your kids gardens and teach them about plants. Take the family on an outing to the nearest botanical garden, rooftop garden, community garden, or greenhouse. Let them experience flora and teach them about different types of plants: flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruits, trees, shrubs, vines and so forth. Talk to them about what functions different plants fill and find out what they like.
- Collect and share children’s gardening literature. Look at books with your child that talk about gardening and gardening projects. Kids especially love “how to” books that include fun projects and books that teach them interesting facts about plants.
- Compile a collection of fun (and simple) DIY garden projects. Look through them with your child(ren) and decide together which ones to try. This can also be a great way to help promote sustainability and self-reliance, all while having fun.
- Garden with your kids, not just in front of them. Include your kids in the process. Get down in the dirt with them, and make sure that they are physically a part of the gardening experience. Be patient and let your child learn how to garden by doing it themselves.
- Let your child(ren) own the project. By “own,” we mean let them make driving decisions, carry out major parts of the project, pick a layout, and select which containers to use or decorations to purchase/create. Certainly help guide them with any expertise you have, but let them take ownership and later pride in what they have accomplished with you.