Family Gardening

Little girl planting sunflower seeds - © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

Little girl planting sunflower seeds – © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

Getting out in the garden with kids is fun, whatever their age. They love digging holes or watering plants. Planting seeds and watching them grow can seem like magic to children.

As well as being a lovely family activity, gardening with kids also means that you get to spend more time in the garden yourself which can’t be bad. There are some great ways to engage children and it’s a healthy and educational way to spend your time together.

Start with a small project. Simple choices like mustard and cress or a gloriously tall and pleasingly fast growing sunflower that will enthral children.

Mother and child sowing spinach seeds - © Friedrich Strauss/GAP Photos

Mother and child sowing spinach seeds – © Friedrich Strauss/GAP Photos

Think about growing food so they learn where it really comes from and what is possible. Fussy eaters may give different vegetables a try if they’ve been part of the growing and harvesting process.

Seven year old boy using a watering can in vegetable garden - © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

Seven year old boy using a watering can in vegetable garden – © Richard Bloom/GAP Photos

You don’t have to buy anything especially for children. Use your collected or saved seeds or cuttings from your existing plants. They can use your tools if supervised – a trowel is a good size for small hands.

Girl making paper pots from newspaper - © Robert Mabic/GAP Photos

Girl making paper pots from newspaper – © Robert Mabic/GAP Photos

Gardening together is also a very good way to educate children about recycling and composting. They can have their own compost bin and you can make it fun drawing pictures of food and waste that can go into it. Make simple biodegradable pots for planting their seeds in using old newspaper.

Young girl watering containers with watering can outside of painted wendy house - © Juliette Wade/GAP Photos

Young girl watering containers with watering can outside of painted wendy house – © Juliette Wade/GAP Photos

If your child does show an interest you could allocate a small area, containers or entire bed for them to grow their own garden. And if they do really love it , you will be passing on a set of skills that they can use throughout their lives.