Children love getting their hands mucky, so gardening can be the perfect activity to do together that will help them learn more about nature whilst having fun.
Try our top tips for turning your little ones into a mini Gardeners!
1.Quick & easy gardening
A great way to get started is to plant easy, quick growing seeds, so that little one's can see the results of their hard work fast without much waiting around!
TOP TIP: Cress, salad seeds and Sunflowers are quick and easy to grow and are great for explaining the process of planting and growing seeds and seeing the results.
2. Herbs and vegetables
Vegetables such as Radishes, tomatoes and peas are a fantastic next step. So are Herbs like Basil and chives that can also be grown indoors in pots all year round.
TOP TIP: Why not try cooking with the herbs and vegetables you grow together like tomatoes and basil. It helps children to learn where food comes from and it’s a fun way to encourage fussy eaters to try new foods!
3. Stimulate the senses
Planting in the garden is a great way to stimulate your child’s senses of touch, sight, sound, taste and smell – plants that rustle, strong smells and bright colours all help to enrich your child’s experience of gardening.
TOP TIP: Sensory plants can be particularly beneficial for children with special needs and impairments, as it encourages them to explore and enjoy the garden.
4. Mini tools
If your little one really loves getting out in the garden it can be helpful to get a set of child-friendly mini-tools that they can hold and use by themselves.
TOP TIP: Having a little watering can, rake, trowel and spade can really help build your child’s sense of independence as well as their physical movement and fine motor skills.
5.Getting down and dirty
Children love to get muddy in the garden so put them in old clothes or designate some clothes ‘gardening clothes’.
6. Keeping them interested
Some children may be completely engrossed in gardening, but not all will so be prepared for them to have a limited attention span.
You can increase their attention span and provide extra interest through asking lots of questions to make them feel like actively involved.
TOP TIP: It’s a good idea to keep things simple. Extend their interest by combining nature-related activities with your gardening such as making plant labels, searching for bugs, creating a scrapbook, or taking photos of your plants growing.
The most important thing though is to have fun and enjoy your time planting and growing with your children!