This week is National Children’s Gardening Week and with all of us spending much more time in our gardens lately, we thought what a better time to inspire our little one’s about the amazing wonders of gardening. Getting your children into gardening can be an extremely rewarding and beneficial pastime. It not only get’s them outside and exploring, it can also help teach them the life cycle of food, plants and nature in general. Teaching your children where products and food comes from is a great life lesson. Their respect for the world around them will grow, hopefully resulting in a life long love for the planet.
The best way to inspire your little one to love gardening and want to learn more about nature, is to make it fun. We all know children are more interested and engaged when they are having fun. So, we have pulled together some helpful inspiration and activities to help your little one become a green fingered gardening fan.
Decorate a plant pot
Children love arts and crafts so let’s incorporate gardening with a little creative arts and crafts to get the crowd on side. Giving your child a plant pot that they can make their own will help engage them from the very beginning. Once they have their very own personalised plant pot they can get to work putting their plants in it and watching them grow. Let their imagination run wild with paint, glitter, jewels and more to help create a pot they are proud of to start their gardening adventure with.
We all know the saying, the way to someones heart is through their belly. This is no different with children and can be a great concept to apply to gardening. Children’s attention spans can be pretty short at times, so try planting things that they can eat and get a physical reward for their work from. Picking quick growing but tasty products can be the way to keep them interested, they will be able to plant the seed, watch it grow and then actually eat and enjoy the results of all their work. We suggest herbs such a mint or cress, or even lettuce, courgettes and runner beans are pretty fast growing. They will find it fascinating to see an incy wincy seed turn into something you can eat.
Getting your children to realise the beauty of plants and nature can be step one to getting them interested in gardening. A great way to help show off how beautiful plants are is to make some art with them. We love pressing and drying our pretty flowers with our children, this not only preserves them and can create lovely crafts, it also can help them learn which flower is which and they may even soon have a favourite that they want to plant themselves.
Let your children pick two or three flowers from your garden (you can lead them to your least favourite if you are attached to your pretty buds). Place their chosen plants between sheets of baking parchment or tissue paper, then place them inside a heavy book and leave to press for 2-3 weeks. After patiently waiting, a beautiful pressed flower will be waiting for you. Remove from the book and allow your children to get creative and glue them to brightly coloured paper to create a pretty picture they can be proud of.
We know this can sound like every parents nightmare, messy mud play. But we promise your children will absolutely love it and it’s a great way to get them out in the garden experimenting with nature. Give them some old mixing bowls and spoons to get them started and let them go wild in their mud kitchen creating some mud masterpieces with soil and water. Once they have mixed a little water with some soil they can start making mud pies, mud cakes and mud smoothies, decorating with things from around the garden such as grass and petals. They’re going to get a little mucky, but put them in old clothes and relax. They are going to love it!
If your little one isn’t showing much interest in seeds and plants quite yet, getting them to just explore nature and get involved outside can be a good introduction. Once they have learnt a bit more about how plants grow, how amazing nature is and enjoy having fun with toys in the garden, they may be more interested to start getting involved in actual gardening. So here are our favourite toys that can help inspire your little ones to love gardening as much as we do.
Liewood Lotus Gardening Set
Giving your little gardener their own tools can encourage them to get their hands messy and grow some amazing things in the garden with you. This Liewood gardening set is made from 100% silicone making it not only eco friendly, but safe for children to use as it’s got no sharp edges. The set includes a watering can, shovel and rake, everything your little one needs to start their gardening adventure.
Olli Ella Strolley
Everyone needs something cool to carry all their gardening essentials in. The Olli Ella strolley is super handy for garden play as it’s converts from a pram to a trolley. They can play in it as they wizz from one garden task to other, or they can use it to carry all their gardening tools to help them get the job done and possibly fill it with their freshly picked goodies they've grown.
Le Toy Van Binoculars
Can you spot the sunflower? What better way to get your children excited about nature than by giving them their very own binoculars to spy through. Task them with spotted special plants, animals or fruit in your garden to help them learn, or they can spy on their plants as they grow.
Plan Toys Wonky Fruit and Vegetables
Whilst they wait for their own fruit and veg to grow, you can teach them about nature and get them excited with their own set of wooden fruit and veg. The great thing about the wonky fruit and veg set from Plan Toys, is it teaches children that sometimes things grow a little wonky and bumpy, but they are still just as yummy! Teaching them to look past appearances of fruit and veg will help reduce food waste and encourage them to love what they grow.