There’s something quite special about sharing your passion for gardening with the children, and they’re never too young to start.
Even if only crawling, babies will love grabbing peas from shoots, playing with empty (clean) plant pots and staring at the flowers in wonder.
However as they reach the walking age, and are able to be taught how to garden, a whole new magical adventure opens up. Children will make you look at the garden in a new light. As we grow older we take for granted the butterfly that land on the buddleia and we curse the moles that make a mockery of our perfectly manicured lawns.
See Your Garden Through New Eyes!
However, all of this will be a new adventure to fresh eyes, many aspects will be seen for the first time, bringing youth to an established garden, and opening up whole new avenues for you to explore too.
When introducing children to gardening it’s best to start with something that seems grown up and messy all at the same time. Children will love the freedom of playing with soil, and if clothes are well protected they don’t have to worry about stains they may create.
Make a Little Mess
Start slowly by introducing them to potting, their impatience may be a little short for waiting for those seedlings to pop up, however, if you use something that propagates easily and quickly, you’ll retain their interest and hopefully introduce them to your passion for life.
Beans are a great example; they can grow one on their windowsill and watch as it takes form. Mustard cress will shoot up within days, and they will take great pride in declaring that they grew the accompaniment to the family’s egg salad!
Harvesting is also a great way to start off, as they collect the bounty they can taste the delights, from peas, rocket, lettuce, strawberries and brambles, they’ll be bowled over by the kitchen garden.
Collecting seed heads this time of year is an interesting job for those little ones, just watch as they stare in wonder when a pod is opened to reveal hundreds of tiny seeds waiting for propagation for the following year.
Combine Crafts and Christmas
They are also a myriad of arts and crafts tasks they can do to help in the garden. Making scarecrows, cloches from old juice bottles, fat balls for the birds and even making pictures from different types of leaves they collect.
As we drift towards Christmas, the children will revel in collecting pine cones and conkers ending with a huge bounty ready to be dipped in glue and then glitter, adding to the festivities decorations. The brambles they collected earlier can be made into a lovely bramble jelly, ready to give to grandma next time she pays a visit.
Even having the responsibility of watering the plants or scattering some fertilizer is an exciting job for those little ones. Above all do not underestimate their power for learning, after all, it’s a guarantee that one day in the garden with the little monkeys, and you will probably learn a thing or two!