7 Ways to make gardening fun for kids


kids gardening

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Not only is gardening educational for children but it's also a lot of fun and as many know, being outdoors has lots of health benefits. I feel very grateful that I have an outdoor space and while it may be fairly small, every summer my kids and I like to create a space that is fun, inviting and somewhere we enjoy spending time in. We always try to grow some veggies, undertake essential maintenance, and make our garden a safe and happy place. I know parenting, work, life, travel etc can make life very hectic but there are simple ways to get kids interested in gardening and having fun outdoors even when time is limited. So I thought I'd share a few tips on how I encourage and promote a love of gardening with my own kids and hopefully it will help you get outdoors more with your family as we head into spring. 

1. Involve them in the planning 

Involving kids in decisions really helps to pique their interest. We have already made a list of the vegetables we want to grow, and walls that need to be painted (they get involved with the painting as well, which may mean things take longer but they really enjoy it). This year we also plan to put in raised beds, which they can decorate. 

2. Give them a patch that's theirs

Even in the smallest space, it's worth giving them an area that is solely theirs, perhaps just a container, patch of earth or pot, that they can call their own and helps give them a sense of responsibility. Encourage them to keep this area well maintained where they can choose their own seeds to plant as they wish, just make sure you get high-quality seeds from somewhere like Seed Parade

3. Start with easy-to-grow flower seeds and veggies

There is something really lovely about seeing the fruits of your labour and kids really respond positively to seeing their seeds grow although it can be deflating putting time and effort into growing flowers and produce and they don't thrive. So if you are starting out, I would advise opting for easy-to-grow seed varieties such as Sunflowers, cress, radishes and marigolds. Do check out this beginner's guide to growing veg.

outdoor kids

4. Don't be afraid to get messy

When it comes to gardening, don't get hung up on mess, it should be a space where children can get their hands dirty and have fun. So let them jump in the puddles, dig holes and have a go at things like pulling weeds, planting seeds and painting walls. You could even get them their own set of gardening tools, of course ensure there is always suitable supervision but say "yes" more rather than "no".

5. Set challenges

You could have a sunflower growing challenge, my kids and I do this every year to see whose sunflower grows the tallest or. you can grow the largest courgette. You could also see who designs the most creative pot plant or who can spot the most birds in the garden over a period of time. They could also take part in the Wildlife Watch Hedgehog award

6. Get them exploring

Yes most gardens in the UK are very small but that doesn't mean you can't go on a mini-exploration adventure! Having a magnifying glass really helps as it gives you a window into the micro world of bugs and worms and can make even the smallest space exciting to explore. 

7. Make your garden wildlife friendly

Bringing more wildlife into your garden is not only great for the environment but opens up a lot of learning opportunities and is educational for all ages. Easy ways to make your garden more wildlife friendly is to hang up some bird feeders or make your own with pinecones, peanut butter and seeds, build a bug hotel together or hang up a bird box. Perhaps even keep a small area wild, where you don't mow the lawn. 

bug hotel

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