Gardening with your kids… the mere thought of it has probably made your skin crawl a bit! Could there be anything worse? You may have even tried it before, only to find that it was an absolute nightmare. Your children were rolling around in the dirt, destroying the flowers you had just planted, and causing general destruction. Well, this blog post is going to encourage you to give it another try. Bare with me, here are some tips to help you out…
Set your expectations low, very low… The reason why your first attempt at gardening may have gone so wrong is because you set your expectations too high. The truth is that your children aren’t going to be the perfect little workers. Gardening with kids can be frustrating and trying, so it’s important to set your expectations low. If you do this, you will have much more fun, and you may even be surprised by their efforts too.
Consider a gardening project that’s for them – Yes, you want to plant some new flowers, get rid of weeds, and so on, and while this can seem appealing to children initially, they are unlikely to appreciate the end result of a weed-free garden. Have you thought about starting an exciting project that you can both embark on together? For instance, you could build a treehouse using supplies from the likes of George Hill Timber. Of course, the stipulation would be that if your child helps you with your general bits and pieces in the garden, you could spend some time afterwards building the tree house. It may sound like bribery (…well, it probably is a little bit), but you’re simply teaching your children the value of working hard for what they want.
Let your kids take ownership of the garden – This can be a very difficult process for the keen gardeners amongst you, but hear me out… Yes, if you gardened before your children were born, you are likely to have a routine in place already. However, your kids aren’t going to be very interested in gardening if you don’t allow them to take ownership of the process. There are a number of ways you can do this, for example, you could present your child with a seed catalogue and allow them to pick what they would like to grow in the garden. Letting them choose recipes is another way to get them thinking about how these plants become food, and they are likely to take a greater interest in the whole process.
Try the tips that have been mentioned above and see if gardening with your kids is more fun this time around. It’s always good to encourage your children to spend time outdoors, and gardening together is a great way to enjoy some precious moments in each other’s company, even if they insist on chasing you around with a worm in their hands!