There are so many positives to getting your little one involved with gardening from an early age. Physically, mentally and educationally, encouraging young children to find their green fingers has heaps of benefit: they can learn all about the natural world, it gets them outside in the fresh air, it’s great for their physical development and it’s proven to have mental health benefits. Plus it’s a really lovely activity you can enjoy together. If you’re keen to get your little one into gardening, but don’t have a clue where to start here are some great tips from some of your favourite influencers:
@olliejackadventure: "A great way to encourage children to help out in the garden is to let them fill up a watering can at the tap and water the plants and flowers that they think look thirsty. Water play is fun and rewarding as they will be able to see their garden grow.”
@mossylife1: “The best way I've found to get my girls interested in gardening is to encourage wildlife into the garden. Planting to encourage bees and butterflies, creating a wildlife pond, bug hotel, putting up an insect house and feeding the birds.”
@kids_play_learn_laugh: “Fairy gardens are the perfect way for children to create, grow and care for their own little garden. Either select a small area in your garden for them or get a large pot or planting tray. Add some soil, seeds and any little fairy garden ornaments you can pick up from your local pound shops.! Encourage fairy’s from all over to come and visit your garden. Grow strawberries or berries (fairies have a sweet tooth!) and let their imaginations flow with stories and fairy tales. They will love watching their magic garden grow.”
@skinnyjeangardener: “Design an outdoor area that's inviting and colourful. Think funky signs, painted pots, and quirky decorations. Let the garden be a canvas for their imagination, allowing them to express themselves through their surroundings. Introduce edible plants that kids love- like tomatoes, strawberries, or sugar snap peas -show them the joy of growing their own food. Kids love to get their hands dirty, so let them dig in! Provide child-sized tools, gloves, and watering cans. Teach them how to plant seeds, transplant seedlings, decorate their own plant labels, paint rocks to mark garden paths or design scarecrows! And finally, celebrate the fruits of their labor by organising garden harvest parties or inviting friends over for a taste test. By sharing their homegrown goodies, they'll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment!”
@augusts_garden: “Gardening with children is about creating everlasting memories which connect them to nature. I try to grow colourful vegetables such as rainbow carrots and candy stripe Chioggia beetroot which capture their imagination and make gardening mesmerising. We eat with our eyes and growing unique and exciting varieties really entices our future growers into the wonderful world of homegrown food. My girls have their own patches which they tend to which teaches them responsibility, patience and gives a deeper connection with all the bugs and insects.”
@homeplayexplore: “Encourage your children to save up their yoghurt pots or milk bottles to use as seed pots! Gardening doesn’t have to be expensive- in fact it will save you money.”
@ourorganicallotment: “Peas are great to grow with young children. The seeds (which are just dried peas!) are easy for small hands to hold, planting is a simple as poking into soil. They can plant them directly in pots or try them in cups on their windowsills. They are fast to grow which makes them brilliant for little minds who need quick results. Match up planting your peas with a great little story, The Runaway Pea by Kjartan Poskitt - the story of a little pea who ends up on the compost heap and makes lots more peas.
Children love stories that can come to live by planting their own runaway peas. Also, let kids get dirty! When gardening with my girls I’ve found the most fun is always had with messy hands!”
Celebrating National Children’s Gardening Week with your little one is a wonderful opportunity to unlock a multitude of benefits for their overall well-being. By involving them in gardening from an early age, you can nurture their physical, mental, and educational growth. It provides a gateway for them to explore and understand the natural world, while enjoying the fresh air and reaping the rewards of physical development. With the helpful tips provided by your favourite influencers, you can embark on this beautiful journey of gardening with your little one, creating lasting memories and a lifelong appreciation for nature. So, embrace National Children's Gardening Week and watch your child's green fingers flourish!