Written By: Parenting Contributor, Prerna Malik, TheMomWrites.com
Lazy, warm summer days will soon be here and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be planning on activities to keep the kids busy during the summertime. Yes, you will have day camps to choose from but what about days when there isn’t any camp? That’s right. Gardening with kids is one of those lovely activities that gets a chore done while having fun with the children.
Here are 5 tips to help you encourage your child to garden with you this summer:
1. Involve Your Kids But Don’t Force Them
Yes, you should involve your kids with you but don’t pressurize or force them to come out and dig with you. Ask them. Tell them why it’ll be fun. But if they resist, let it be. They’ll come around to it or maybe they won’t. All you need to do is try gently and lead by example.
2. Take Them Garden Shopping with You
So, say the children aren’t really gardening-crazy right now. How about you take them shopping with you for seeds, equipment, colorful planters and pots and other starter stuff. Shopping for gardens can be fun what with all the colors, textures and fragrances. Let the kids explore naturally – touching, feeling, smelling, commenting. Don’t judge or get frustrated with them.
3. Let Them See You Get Your Hands Dirty
I spoke about leading by example in point #1 and let’s understand it in detail here. Kids learn best by seeing the adults around them display desired behaviors and a new outdoor activity or hobby is no different. By getting your hands dirty, digging and planting, you’re letting your kids see how much fun gardening is and trust me, playing with dirt without you getting mad at them is bound to get them interested as well.
4. Make Gardening Child-Friendly
Choose the right equipment for your kids. The right-sized gloves, lightweight tools and in fact, give them a small patch or a few pots of their own to plant as they’d like.
5. Enjoy it!
Finally, make gardening an activity that is all about hanging out together, doing something fun and bonding. Release expectations and don’t be in teacher mode all the time. Lead gently but let your kids explore and experiment. Talk about gardening at the family table, go through books together, ask questions. Enjoy the benefits of gardening that go beyond the plants.
For a fun gardening activity that you and your kids can do together, check out how to create Savvy and Sensational Shoe Planters.
Do you garden with your kids? Want to start? Share with me in the comments!