When it comes to having a garden it is best to get the whole family involved. Working together as a family on such a fun and rewarding project teaches life lessons and makes lasting memories. Enjoying fresh food from the garden is healthy and saves money for the family. Talk about the benefits of being a family, working together and working hard. Talk about the fun you will have along the way and how much you all will enjoy the payoff of the garden in the end. Whether it is plants or veggies, a garden is a beautiful thing! Here are some family-friendly gardening tips that will entice the whole family to participate.
1. Give everyone a job to do– While some family member may be more suited for lifting soil and using the shovel, it is important that every member of the family helps out in some way. If little ones have to stay out of the way at times, give them another job to do nearby. Even getting cold water for mom and dad is an important part of working together!
2. Have Each Family Member Choose a Favorite Plant or Vegetable- When family members choose their favorite plants or vegetables it gives them ownership in the garden. Every day care and chores such as weeding and watering will be done with a sense of pride. By doing so, they can also enjoy the beauty of the garden and watch as the growth progresses. If you have a particular color theme planned express that to them before they make their choice in a plant. Plant flowers in one section and vegetables or herbs in another section to make weeding and harvesting easier.
3. Get Some Family-Friendly Gardening Tools– Purchasing some family-friendly gardening tools is a must. Young children need kid sized tools that they can lift and work with, not adult tools that are unsafe or difficult to work with. Kids’ garden gloves and watering cans are also a good choice along with these sturdy tools for “bigger” little kids.
4. Reward the family with a Barbecue– When the warm weather approaches it is time for firing up the barbecue. What better way to reap the reward of all the hard gardening work then by enjoying the fruits of the labor. Getting the family together for a delicious and fresh veggie barbecue is a wonderful ways to spend time together. Looking forward to this goal will give the kids incentive to work on weeding and other gardening chores.
5. Make a Compost and talk about the planet- Get the family involved in making compost. Coffee grounds are excellent in improving soil conditions. Vegetable parings will provide the soil and plants with fresh compost and also be a food source for beneficial earth worms. Talk to your kids about the important local and global benefits of composting and recycling. Give them the knowledge and pride about what they are participating in.
6. Explore Nature- While getting the whole family involved in your gardening efforts; make sure to take time to explore nature while working in the garden. Take notice of the birds, the bees, and other insects that stop in to visit or live in the garden soil. Talk about the plant life cycle, photosynthesis and adaptation of plants and insects.
(The microscope below comes with slides of insects so that children can learn more about and identify what they see in their own garden.)
These family-friendly gardening tips will peak the interest of all family members. Children love to contribute to the family. They also love to explore and learn so make sure that you give them plenty of opportunity to do both of these. Whether you do a garden for flowers or vegetables and herbs, gardens benefit the whole family in many ways. Talk about your own beliefs and ideas about living from the earth, working together and being a family. Make good memories with your family that you all will cherish and traditions that you will all enjoy and pass on through the years and generation to come.