Partner with nature to work magic with your fingers. Gardening is one outdoor activity that always springs a lot of surprises as it is fun and educational. You don’t have to achieve horticultural perfection every time you garden. Just enjoy it as a hobby and encourage kids to explore the priceless bounty of nature’s treasure chest. You can see the anticipation of children in gardening as they pull out vegetables from an edible garden; bite a carrot or see them create colorful bouquets of their handpicked flowers from the garden bed. Whether it’s discovering a new germinating seed, watering plants or making mud, there is a magnetic attraction between children and the garden.
There are fond memories associated with gardening as many people relate to invaluable time spent with their parents or grandparents who encouraged them to become a friend of the soil. They were the ones who inculcated the habit of playing outdoors and explore nature around them. Planting and play go hand in hand for children of all ages. Even a toddler can be taught proper garden etiquette, such as where to walk in the garden, water plants and pick produce. They also learn the consequences of good hard labor especially when they do weeding, cultivating and watering. Apart from that, they also learn to be patient and wait for nature to take its own course.
You need to keep the children area of your garden plain and simple. It should be of a manageable size, about 6 by 10 feet. Begin planting seeds of a few varieties and assign tasks to your children depending on their age and interests. They also learn that the path to better nutrition and health lies just outside their front door. This helps them respect the produce as they realize that the fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables come from a natural source out of their own labor. Gardening also offers fresh air and exercise, something that you can’t get indoors. It also promotes therapeutic effects and improves gross motor skills.
Gardening brings about positive experiences and memories in a child’s mind without much effort. It sustains their curiosity and interest to explore things that they are not familiar with. For example, kids learn that earthworms are not harmful creatures but are actually friends for their garden, as they fertilize, aerate and enrich the soil with nutrients. They also learn the importance of planting and cultivating organic produce which are free from toxic chemicals. All who partake in gardening would have had individual experiences that taught them a lot about nature. They also learn from their mistakes and celebrate wonder all around their own little gardening world. A seed in garden promises of what is to come in the future, which is of course the biggest lesson to be learnt by the young and old alike.