I love the outdoors and could spend hours just looking at my plants and all the hard work I’ve put into my garden. But something else I’d love is to involve my loved ones. If you’ve got nieces, nephews, kiddos, or grandkiddos that you’re looking for new activities to bond over, get them in your garden!
A little helping hand or two could either be beneficial to you in the garden, or at the very least, create a fun environment and a new activity for spending time together. Plus it gets the kids outdoors, which is harder than ever these days. Here are some tips to get those kids excited about the garden life:
1. Take Them To A Nursery
A fun conversation on the way to the nursery is that you’re not visiting babies, but plants! You still care for them and nurture them like a baby, but in a little bit of a different way. When I was little, something I loved to do was go with my mom to the local nursery and look at all the colorful flowers. Let the kiddo pick out a plant or two that they love and take it home for planting! [Bonus: you can teach them how to care for other living things!]
2. Give Them Their Own Plot
Some are particular about where things go in their garden, but giving the kid in your life a little blank space of dirt will inspire them. They will find it special to give a home to their own plants. Of course, you can mix it in with other plants dwelling in the same area, but something about an area designated for their plant baby will heighten their interest immediately.
3. Give Them A Job
Whether or not they “own” a plant in the garden, give them a job when you’re out there working, too. An easy go-to is giving them a water hose to quench your plants’ thirst. Another would be taking scraps and weeds to the compost bin, or simply handing you the tools you need.
Give them a garden trowel to dig a hole for their new plant and let them place the plant in the hole, too. Kids sometimes love responsibility like this, or even thrive with it.
4. Get Kid-Sized Tools
Some of those jobs or responsibilities might seem easier to accomplish if you give them tools that are kid-sized. They might fatigue faster if they’re holding an adult-sized shovel or rake, but smaller ones more their size will keep them excited longer. Children also love to dress up, so get them their own gardening gloves, an apron, and a cute little hat, too. If anything, it’s just adorable and a great photo opp.
5. Let Them Get Messy
One of the best parts about gardening is getting your hands dirty. The idea of getting dirty is automatically tenfold for a kiddo. So let them get nuts! Besides, one of the best advice I’ve heard in regards to children is that you can always wash their clothes. Let them get messy!
6. Let Them Explore
As adults, our brains can get convoluted with what we know, efficiency, and doing what’s “right.” But kids still have that wonder and imagination that produces amazing ideas. They might even spark some inspiration for you!
Let them think and ask questions about the flower they chose, the dirt they’re planting in, or even the environment you live in. Gardening can introduce teachable moments or just a new outlet for creativity.
If anything comes from this experience, it’s at least fond memories of your together-time in the garden. Whether or not they pick up the same passion you have for gardening, it’s all about the fun times you spent there.