Children love playing in dirt, learning how to garden can teach them self-confidence, co-operation, responsibility, discovery, and reasoning through learning. Let your child take the lead, allow them discover and experience the diversity and reward of gardening whilst you guide them through the process. Allow your child to get their hands dirty digging through the soil, planting seeds or seedlings, watering their plants, show them how fruits and vegetables grow from the garden to the table.
Gardening tools that you will need are things like small watering cans with a pouring spout, sticks or child sized shovels/spades for digging, small wheelbarrows, safety scissors for pruning or cutting flowers. Remember that getting dirty is a part of the experience, so make sure to wear old clothes and shoes that can get covered in dirt without mum and dad worrying about ruining clothes.
Sensory gardens are a fabulous idea for kids, it enables them to enjoy discovering plants with their different senses. Some examples include:
Touch – soft, woolly lambs ear, smooth succulents like aloe vera, or spikey varieties of bottlebrush
Taste – yummy foods like basil, mint, peas, cherry tomatoes and strawberries
Smell – lemon myrtle, native mint, lavender, rosemary, and sweet peas
Bright Colours – daffodils, pansies, gerberas, sunflowers, and kangaroo paws
Sound – sweet corn, grasses which rustle in the wind, crunchy veggies such as carrots or snow peas.
If gardening in the great outdoors, be mindful that you should always be sun safe, slip, slop, slap are so important to avoid burns in the sun. Keep hydrated, and try to garden in the late afternoon when there is more shade. Watering your plants at this time of day will also help them from being blanched or boiled in the summer sun.
Gardening is a science, so be prepared for failed crops, encourage your child to try again if this happens as there are many environmental aspects which can affect plant growth and prosperity. It is very important not to give up, encourage your child to keep trying and see how things turn out next time.
At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Childcare Centres, we love learning about the environment and gardening!