- Children learn where their food comes from.
- The time and effort it takes to grow even the smallest berry.
- Learn about the environment
- Helps develop consistence and patience
- Gives children responsibility
- Introduces them to flavours they may otherwise refuse to try
- Is something that parents and children can do together that will build bonds
- They are out in the fresh air
- Is great fun and requires little outlay
Never too soon
It’s never too soon to get children interested in gardening and help them find out more about where their food comes from. Even the fussiest child is likely to try a warm sweet strawberry or raspberry straight from the plant or a handful of peas out of the pod.
Make an egg man
At any time of the year, children can start to understand the concept of things growing from seed. For example give them a packet of cress seeds, these can be grown in a shallow tray or you can make it even more fun by saving their breakfast boiled eggs that have had their tops cut off.
Draw a face on the eggshell and fill with peat free compost or even just moist kitchen roll and sprinkle with seeds. When it grows the little egg man will have a mop of green hair that they can snip and eat.
Grow a sunflower
In the spring have a competition of who can grow the tallest sunflower. This will teach them how to feed and water their flower.
At the end of the season the seeds from the sunflower can go towards feeding the birds. And if you save a few then you can grow sunflowers again the following year.
Grow herbs together
Although children often shy away from anything green on their plates, growing chives, basil, marjoram and oregano will improve the flavour of their favourite pizza or Bolognese sauce. They will learn about cooking and flavours and you will benefit from the having your own home grown herbs.
Give your child a vegetable plant
Try giving your child their own personal vegetable plant to look after either in a pot or in their own special place in the garden so they know it belongs to them. Courgettes are a perfect choice as they grow very easily. However the important thing is you grow something that you know the family will eat and enjoy.
Joint visits and bonding
Make sure you have joint visits to the garden where you can ponder together on how the vegetables and herbs are growing. Discuss when they need watering and recipes you can cook with them together when your vegetables are ready to pick. And most importantly make it fun not a chore.
Getting your children interested in gardening is a really easy, fun and an enjoyable activity, that does not to take a great deal of time or money and can entertain and help them learn a variety of skills.