It is spring and green fingered gardeners will be keen to get outdoors and begin work on the green spaces available to them but may find it difficult to get children sharing their passion for the outdoors.
Horticultural experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk have compiled a list of top tips parents should consider when trying to spark the joy of gardening in young family members.
Gardening has proven health benefits amongst adults, but it can also be a great way for children to explore their creativity, teaching them patience and independence along the way.
By following these tips, households will be able to enjoy home grown produce whilst encouraging youngsters to be responsible.
A spokesperson from GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “Gardening is a brilliant and wholesome alternative to spending days cooped up playing video games and should be encouraged by parents.
“Tasks should not be seen as a chore but instead an opportunity to be creative and encourage independence.
“Teaching responsibility at a young age can be difficult but encouraging kids to help maintain the garden can help.”
Here are GardeningExpress.co.uk’s top tips on how to get kids into gardening.
1.Mini-garden: Allocate a couple square metres which is completely the child’s own. This encourages a sense of responsibility for the designated area. If you only have a limited amount of garden space, consider using plant pots instead. Indoor plants are also a great option and can be placed on windowsills or tables. Ensure this area is clean, weed free and soil is in good condition. Preparation is key.
2.Tiny tools: Investing in the right tools will make the whole process a lot easier. Choose lighter shovels and investing in a pair of personalised gloves for your children can help give a sense of importance when completing a task.
3.Maximum creativity: Let your children be responsible for choosing which colour plants to buy and planning where they would like them to go. Do not limit them – allow them to let their creativity run free and experience the first taste of independence (under guidance). It is best to try and avoid more difficult plants to look after too. Stick to ones which are almost indestructible and thrive throughout the year.
4.Quick growth: Children usually prefer growing plants which give fast results so they can see their hard work pay off quicker. For those with little patience consider sunflower and cress seeds for super quick plant growth. Patience may be a skill many young children will be working on and best to avoid high maintenance plants even for the most advanced of gardeners.
5.Home-grown: By growing organic produce that the child enjoy, you’ll be encouraging them to eat healthy and teaching them where their food comes from. The produce will also be a great pesticide free alternative to shop bought vegetables. Let children plan meals that feature the produce they have grown and it will help them get their five-a-day.
We appreciate London living doesn’t always allow for green spaces in every home. But London Parks have lots of fun family friendly activities and the Isis Centre in Hyde Park has a Children’s University with lots of fun events that provide a great way to encourage little ones to get involved with and develop a love of nature.