During the summer months when the sun is shining bright nothing can be better than enjoying it in the comforts of your own garden. What’s more children playing can be a wonderful sight, but watching them interact with nature is something else, and it always ceases to amaze me the things that they pick up. Not only does the garden provide a playground for children to run around in, it also offers some lessons and can teach them about patience, the life cycle of plants and the wildlife that gardens can attract. If this is something that you would like to encourage at home and would like to find out how you can get your children involved in gardening, I have come up with a few tips below:
Lesson One: Discovering how plants and vegetables grow
Why not corner off a section of the garden for your children to use? I gave my children a raised bed to grow whatever they wished and it was lovely to see the smiles on their faces when they started pulling out their crops. They grew carrots, onions, broccoli and cabbage and loved that they could eat the vegetables once they had been harvested. It was a reward for all their hard work and as they saw eating vegetables as an incentive rather than sweets, well, you can imagine my glee.
Growing vegetables taught my children nurture and patience as well as how plants grow. They really enjoyed being outside checking on their vegetables and in doing so stimulated a lot of questions about nature and gardening.
The same can be done with flowers – offering your children a container or two to grow whatever they wish. This will give them a sense of pride and encourage them to continue garden activities once they see the first bloom.
Lesson Two: Responsibility
In hindsight you are giving your children a living organism and for it to bloom and flourish the right care is needed. What makes this one of the greatest lessons is that its fun and they don’t feel like they have been given responsibility. They don’t realise that they are learning and this lesson is one that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Growing and nurturing something like a flower offers a great sense of achievement, which can encourage them to grow more and perhaps something more challenging.
Lesson Three: Science
If you have children who are now going to school they are sure to be discovering the make-up of plants. By allowing them to grow their own flower you can teach them at home, explaining the process of photosynthesis and the biology of plant life. Life cycles and the wildlife that comes into play can also be taught and as they have the visual to go with your words, the lesson becomes a lot stronger.
These are just a few of the advantages of getting your children into garden and growing their own flowers and vegetables. Not only is it great for them, but it also gives you as a parent a sense of pride. You have taught these lessons to them and these are the lessons that will help with school and later on in life. I had a wonderful time teaching my children how to grow their own food and now my son is growing tomatoes all by himself – it’s just a shame that they grow up so quickly.
Mr McGregor is a guest writer for Notcutts a leading garden centre who shares his passion for encouraging children into the garden. If you are interested in creating a small garden for your children why not have a look at their website – you will find all you need from children’s tools to vegetable seeds and much more.
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