Today’s kids are spending way too much time locked up in their homes – sometimes quite literally. And, as a result, they’re not getting outside and enjoying what nature has to offer.
Getting your kids interested in pruning and shearing, though, can be a challenge. But there’s good news: smart parents have developed a host of techniques over the years designed to foster their enthusiasm.
Here’s what they’ve come up with.
Put A Garden Next To Their Play Area
Sometimes, when you want your children to get into an activity, the best policy is to make it convenient. If they currently spend a lot of time in the sandpit, put it close to the plants and shrubs in your garden so they can get up close and personal with them. As you’re pruning and weeding, you’ll naturally gain the interest of the child and can show them what you’re doing.
Give Them A Set Of Gardening Tools
Parents can sometimes try to force their kids’ interest in certain activities. But that kind of approach usually backfires. Children know what they like, and they pursue their interests passionately.
You can, however, get around this problem by creating interest indirectly. One clever way to do this is to buy your child their own set of gardening tools, like a trowel and hand shovel.
Yes, these pieces of equipment are inexpensive. But they provide a new way for children to play. Gardening can be a lot of fun, especially when they start seeing results from all their hard work.
Giving them tools will help them feel like real gardeners. It’s almost a rite of passage.
Don’t Make Gardening A Chore
Chores, by definition, are necessary tasks that people don’t want to do. But the definition of a “chore” is mostly in the mind. Practically all pleasure in life comes from hard work and the application of skill. Thus, one person’s chore could be another person’s playtime.
As parents, we can sometimes get into the habit of ordering our children about like army sergeants. But kids always have their own idea for what’s fun and what isn’t.
Worse still, if you make a child do something they don’t want to do, they’ll continually look for ways to rebel against you.
When it comes to gardening, try to avoid turning it into a chore. Instead, think about ways to make it fun and rewarding. Most kids will voluntarily get involved if you approach it in the right way.
Give Your Kids An Area They Can Plant Anything They Want
Another clever way to get kids interested in gardening is to give them ownership. This is where you set aside a patch of land where they can plant whatever they like. This way, they feel like it is “theirs” and that they have control. They’re not just following your blueprint.
You can also give them control over what types of flowers and shrubs they plant. Go to an outlet, like Poplar Nurseries, and show them all the options available to them. Try to let them come up with their own designs, even if they seem a little crazy to you. Eventually, they’ll begin to understand which plants work best in combination and look the most attractive.
Give Them A Garden Timetable Chart
Some children are incredibly interested in the practicalities of making sure your garden remains well-kept. For them, the goal isn’t so much beauty, but enjoying the process of watering, pruning, and weeding.
As a parent, you can provide them with a gardening timetable chart, showing them what they need to do, and when. Some days, the number of odd jobs will be small – especially during the winter. In the summer, though, it’s a completely different story. The lawn needs mowing, plants need watering, and shrubs that have become overgrown need a good trim.
Turn Your Garden Into A Vegetable Patch
Are your kids interested in food? If so, you might want to turn part of your garden into a vegetable patch. This way, you can show them the magic of cultivating fruit and vegetables.
Creating a successful veg plot is quite a scientific endeavour. You have to understand germination, growing cycles and the seasons. For kids, the whole thing is fascinating. It’s amazing that you can plant a bulb in the ground and then, a few months later, a whole onion will emerge.
What’s more, you can actually eat the food you grow. Almost always, it tastes better than the supermarket.
Create Fun Gardening Competitions
In general, kids love competitions. It’s an opportunity for them to improve and gain mastery over their environment.
As a parent, you can tap into this innate urge by introducing an element of competition into the garden. For instance, you might see who can grow the tallest beanstalk or the biggest marrow.
This type of competition is educational too. After all, it takes a lot of knowledge to grow food in your garden. Engaging in it teaches kids concepts like watering cycles and the optimal use of fertilisers.
Take A Trip To A Garden
There are so many incredible gardens around the country, particularly Kew. Going to a greenhouse or a conservatory introduces kids to a whole new world of horticulture they probably never imagined. Many contain plants they will never have seen before, firing their interest.
Get Them Interested In Flower Pots
Getting children interested in regular gardening chores straight away can be hard, though. So what else can you do to pique their interest?
Many parents try starting their kids off by getting them interested in flower pots. It’s magical planting a seed and then watching a plant sprout and flower.
Starting with growing trays introduces your children to the concept. Once the plant is past the nursing stage, you can take it out to the garden and plant it in your beds.
While getting your kids interested in gardening isn’t always the easiest task in the world, it is possible. Plus, it helps to get them outside, which is always a good thing. Happy gardening!