Kids in The Garden

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Kids can learn new skills, have fun, play and develop self-confidence by spending time in the garden. Many aspects of life & nature can be taught in a fun & relevant way through gardening.

Kids learn from growing things.

Gardening is educational & fun. It develops new skills including:

Responsibility – from caring for plants.

Understanding – as they learn about cause & effect (for example, plants die without water, weeds compete with plants).

Self-confidence – from achieving their goals & enjoying the food they have grown.

Love of nature – a chance to learn about & appreciate the great outdoors.

Reasoning & discovery – learning about the science of plants, reproduction, animals, good bugs & bad bugs, weather, the environment, nutrition & simple construction.

Exercise – doing something fun & productive, enjoying fresh air & sunshine.

Cooperation – playing together, sharing & teamwork.

Creativity – finding new & exciting ways to grow food, designing a garden, garden crafts.

Nutrition – learning about where fresh food comes from. Understanding organics and how healthy it is to grow your own.

 

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How do you get them interested?

Keep it simple.

Give children their own little garden space.

Let them help to plan & design the garden.

Use lightweight, easy-to-handle, colourful, correct-sized tools & gardening equipment.

Encourage them enjoy to digging in the dirt, making mud pies, finding worms.

Grow fun & interesting plants like sunflowers, corn, pumpkins, tomatoes & strawberries.

Show them how to hand pollinate pumpkin flowers.

Use a trellis or teepee to grow beans or sweet peas. Make it big enough for them to use as a tent.

Plant flowers that attract butterflies, ladybirds and other interesting insects or birds.

Make a scarecrow.

Tap into their creativity – teach them to upcycle.

Install a water feature, a bird or butterfly bath or a sundial.

Set up a worm farm.

Make it fun!

 

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Make sure you keep them safe!

Choose to use kid-sized tools.

Keep sprays and fertilisers out of reach.

Garden organically. Avoid chemicals.

Provide safe storage for equipment and tools.

Secure fences and gates.

Provide shade & plenty of drinking water in summer.

Make sure that kids wear a hat, sunscreen, suitable clothing, gumboots & gardening gloves.

Do not leave buckets of water unattended around very young children and toddlers.

Kids will all have different expectations & will learn different things in the garden, depending on their age.

Younger kids will need to be carefully supervised. Watering plants, harvesting produce & planting seeds are all great things for younger kids to do in the garden. Older kids can handle more advanced activities, like digging, carrying, planting, mulching, pruning & even building.

Choose activities that suit the child’s age.

 

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Some ideas to get you started:

Watering the garden.

Digging.

Picking flowers, gathering seeds & dried flowers.

Planting vegetables, fruits & flowers in the correct season.

Feeding the worms & using the ‘worm tea’ from the worm farm as fertiliser.

Picking vegetables and fruits when they are ready to eat.

Preparing healthy food, like making salads & preparing school lunches.

Craft activities to suit the occasion (eg. Easter) using seeds, plants & flowers from their patch.

Composting, recycling and mulching.

Up-cycling by finding new uses for old things.

Weeding & deadheading flowers.

Preparing the soil with organic fertiliser.

Replanting and re-potting.