Is there any better play-ground on Earth for children to be pottering around, getting stuck-in, getting their hands dirty, having plenty fresh air and being in a safe envoirnment, than out and around in their backyard or back garden ? I would’nt think so. I would hazard a guess that parents living in urban areas would love the opportunity to be able to bring-up their children in this type of safe, secure and rewarding life-style. I can speak from experience as this was my kind of upbringing and loved every moment of it. I always looked forward to the summer holidays especially, as every waking minute was spent out and about either in the meadows, the milking parlour or in the garden. We did’nt have all the distractions that are there today like digital entertainment or mobile phones etc etc, instead we had our daily chores to busy us and keep us entertained, seven days a week.
Get them interested;
Child psychogolists and parent counsellors are constantly beating a drum ( and rightly so ) about the importance of getting children out and about in the fresh air, ie, getting them away from screen entertainment and trying to focus their energy on outdoor sports and other outdoor past-times. Once childrens minds could be focused on a particular task out in the garden, I would safetly say that they would be very keen to learn all about nature, how stuff grows and all of the other issues that go on in the great outdoors. If we could sell them this great story, say from a kids gardening book, we would have done them a great service and ourselves also.
Mini raised beds for kids;
These are available online or we can construct these frames ourselves for little or no expense, all that is required that we nominate or allocate a space out in the garden specifically for our kids, parallel or near to our own raised beds, an old wine box or something similar would suffice as well, just to show them the basics and get them interested. Explain to them how plants, vegetables and flowers grow from little seeds and that this is where our fresh vegetables for the kitchen come from. It certainly caught my interest growing-up and stayed with me to this day. If we could assist and demonstrate to them, the planting of a few summer bedding plants or some easy to grow vegetables, that would get them excited and motivated, I’m pretty sure that they would not refuse to want to do these chores themselves. After the planting, we would go on to explain that we now need to water these, so that the plants will go on to grow bigger and produce edible vegetables, they sure would be interested in that exercise.
Learning gardening indoors;
Before the weather becomes warm enough for children to venture outdoors on their first gardening adventure, we can always do a little preparation work indoors. If we have any old vegetable trays, egg cartons, or any such containers lying around in the house, these could be used as seed potting starting trays. By explaining to the kids how stuff grows, I’m pretty sure that they will be only too eager to learn. Before all that we need to have purchased an inexpensive packet of flower or vegetable seed from our garden centre, show them how to plant the seeds and then water the trays and place these on a well lit window ledge. After 10-14 days, the seed should begin to germinate and this miracle will really have them pretty excited. I’m pretty confident that they would love to show their handywork to their schoolfriends and neighbours when they call around to their house. It is all a learning curve and an education of sorts for the kids and this may prove to be the best playtime that they have experienced to date. I know also that teachers in some schools are adding this subject to the curriculum, which is to be welcomed and long may it last.
Kids potting benches and gardening tools;
A great selection of childrens gardening tools are available in all hardware stores, or failing that, these can be also be purchased online and are relatively very inexpensive. The kids tools that I would recommend for starters are a little garden shovel and fork, which should keep them busy for hours and hours and these will enable them to do all the necessary mucking around in the beginning. If they have a bucket and spade that they would have used at the beach, these will also be sufficient for their needs.
For more info go here….Kid’s VegTrug® Potting Bench
The challenge is to get them outdoors, get them interested in the garden initially, after that we then will have an idea of how keen they are and what activities that they prefer to be involved with. Similarly as we adults have our own garden sheds, another idea is to make or purchase a little potting station or bench, where they can store all their tools and implements like little flower pots and the like. When they see what we are doing in the outdoors, they will be only keen to do as we do and that should please most parents, I’m sure. Here’s hoping that this article was interesting and if you have any queries or questions, please use the comments box below.
Happy gardening to all.
Best wishes……..Philip Browne.
” Why try to explain miracles to your kids
when you can just have them plant a garden.
– Robert Brault. “