Who says gardening is for adults (or big kids) only?
With the kids now back at school, it’s that time of year when we need to think of fun things to do on a weekend. It’s also the time of year when we need to start thinking about getting our gardens ready for the nights drawing in and imminent temperature drop.
However, this weekend the forecast is looking very promising, so let's get outside with the kids, spend a day in our gardens, and combine the two...
Gardening is a healthy, fun activity that helps kids develop new skills and learn about our environment. At Lazy Susan, the team have pulled together a few tips and some playful ways to get them involved in our favourite hobby.
Lots of fun guaranteed!
Gardening with Kids
Gardening with kids can be great fun for them and us. It gets them off their iPads/games consoles, outside in the fresh air, and they’re learning new skills... Plus, who’s little tykes don’t like getting mucky in the mud?
Gardening Projects for Kids
For many of us at Lazy Susan, we were busy in the garden with our kids over the school holidays. Some of my own favourite activities include getting my two outside to decorate and plant up their own pots. Combining a little crafting with some green-fingered fun. Getting them to take a few snaps as things grow and make a journal.
If you need a little inspo, then the team at Gardeners World have 10 fantastic gardening projects for kids. From colourful containers to bug boxes, their simple garden projects are a great way to get the kids outside, entertained, and away from their gagets.
The video below from Learn To Grow is also a great starting point. It introduces kids to the joy of gardening, the benefits, and the dinosaur garden is a great idea for encouraging them to have a go:
However, if you want something for younger kids to watch themselves, then the animated video below from Highlights High Five is great:
Gardening Kits for Kids
The Birds, Bees & Butterflies Seedbom Gift Box (pictured below) is another great way to get them started and enthused.
Let them pull the pin and throw or drop Seedboms into a part of the garden that could do with a little brightening up. The Seedboms will biodegrade, leaving only plants behind. And one thing I know from my own kids is they’ll be out in the garden every day to check on progress!
Available from Kabloom.co.uk.
How to get kids gardening?
To get them interested from a young age, then our advice is just to keep it simple, and most importantly, fun. Explain the health and wellbeing benefits to them and why gardening is good for the environment. Maybe give them their own mini-plot in the garden to do with what they please?
Planting veggies is a great way of combining gardening and getting them to eat healthily too. However, if you’ve got older children or grandchildren, then why not get them involved in the planning, design, landscaping and planting of the whole garden 'project'?
For those with younger kids, then we would also recommend you get them some correct-sized gardening tools and equipment (more of that below) so they can be like you. And it’s also a good idea to remove any of the 'fear' by encouraging younger children to dig in the dirt and pick up minibeasts such as worms.
Gardening Sets for kids
Following on from the above, if you really want them to get involved at a young age, then getting them their own gardening tools is a great way of building the excitement. There are some great (safe to use) sets that are safe for them to handle but will help them get stuck in.
Obviously, as they get older, you can start letting them use the real thing, but from a young age teach them that garden tools can be dangerous. Even our shovels, rakes and trowels are heavy and often have a sharp edge, so safety first.
Start them with kids tools first, and at Lazy Susan our favourites are the Small Tote Bag with Tools from Kidly (pictured above) and the fab Personalised Kids Gardening Set With Apron from Hoolaroo on Etsy (pictured below).
Plastic tools are OK for toddlers and sandpits but they won’t really enable them to do any real gardening, so go for those with a soft-edged metal head and wooden handles. They cost a little more but trust us they'll get much more use out of them!
Plants for Kids
Growing their own veggies is another great place to start. Radishes for example are one of the easiest and quickest salad crops to grow. They can be repeatedly sown over the summer months so that there’s always something growing, and they’ll see them getting bigger each day.
If you want to go down the flower route, then our advice would be Marigolds. Again, they’re easy to grow from seed and they produce some wonderful bright blooms that kids will love.
If you need a little more advice and inspiration, then Birds & Blooms Top 10 Easy Plants for Kids to Grow article is a great place to start.
Here’s to some green-fingered fun this weekend!