Gardening is an experience best shared, especially with our children. Beyond their usual toys and gadgets, heirloom gardening is a beautiful way to teach our children how to be one with Mother Nature — and reap its rewards.
The joy of heirloom gardening with children
There are many ways gardening can be beneficial to children. For one, it shows them there is the world beyond technology and their playroom. They have a chance to experience what it’s like to grow their food, care for other living things and harvest what they planted. It’s another way for them to enjoy the perks of being outdoors and “get their hands dirty,” so to speak.
Heirloom gardening is also a way to preserve gardening heritage throughout generations. When you teach your children the essence of heirloom seeds and what makes growing them so special, they can keep the legacy alive.
Gardening is also a fun way to bond with your children. You can teach them the value of hard work and patience. When they grow up, they can pass this knowledge on to their children, and so forth.
Before you start gardening with your kids, here are a few things to remember to ensure the experience is enjoyable, safe and rewarding.
1. Provide child-sized tools and gloves
Children love to mimic their adult models. So take this opportunity to ensure that their mimicking actions play a pivotal role in their growth and development. One thing you can do is to give your children their very own child-sized gardening tools and gloves.
When they have the right aids, they became more motivated and inspired to continue with the experience. It makes them feel that they are part of the activity.
2. Create a unique garden bed for kids
Another way to get your kids more involved is by creating a garden bed just for them. A garden bed of their own can be useful when you have a larger gardening area, and you can spare a special section for the kids.
You can go ahead and build a raised bed for your children. From here, they can plan what they want to plant, care for the seeds and in time, harvest their hard work. Do this, and you’ll quickly realize how excited the kiddos will become. Surely, they’ll be checking their bed now and then.
3. Involve them in site analysis
It’s one thing to let your kids get their hands dirty. It’s another for them to know why they’re doing it. One of the best ways to help them develop a deeper knowledge about heirloom gardening is by involving them in your site analysis.
For example, once they have their garden bed, you can teach them about using and conditioning the right soil. You can also teach them how other environmental factors play a part in ensuring you’ll grow a healthy harvest.
4. Don’t show aversion towards insects and bugs
Children aren’t naturally scared of bugs and critters. In fact, far too many of them are fascinated by these insects. Try to preserve that by not showing your aversion towards worms, bugs, or other crawling critters. When your kids see that, they’re more likely to think that these bugs are nothing but pests in your garden.
Teach them how certain insects aren’t always pests; how they are critical in ensuring the garden will grow abundantly.
5. Go seed shopping with them
Each time you’re going out to get heirloom seeds, be sure to bring your kids along with you. They will have a better understanding of what you want to grow, what the varieties are, and so forth.
6. Share safe gardening tips with them
The last thing you want is your kids getting into an accident because they meddled with the gardening tools. That’s why it pays to teach your children the importance of safety when it comes to gardening.
You want them to stay away from dangerous tools, but you don’t want them to be completely fearful of them. As we say, knowledge is always key.
7. Take pictures!
Heirloom gardening with your children is such a wonderful way to bond with them. Make it memorable by taking pictures throughout the process. From the moment they plant their first seed to harvesting their first corn or tomato, snap a photo!