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Gardening is a healthy and rewarding activity for both kids and adults alike. If you want to get your child out of the house and away from screens for a little while, gardening is an excellent way to do it! It's fun, but it's also full of learning opportunities spread out over an entire growing season. If you're an experienced gardener, you probably already know all of this. If you're not, start a garden and get your kids involved from the beginning with these simple tips:
Get Your Kid Their Own Tools and Gloves
Success starts with engagement and kids often need a little instant gratification to help them engage. Every gardener needs a set of their own tools and gardening gloves, and children are no exception. Give your budding green thumb a child-sized trowel and a durable pair of gardening gloves so they feel like they are a part of the action. Plus, if you each have your own set of tools, you can work side-by-side, giving them instruction in real-time.
Let Them Choose What to Grow
To encourage your child to learn about gardening, let your child help decide which plants to grow! ...Whether it's fruits, veggies or their favorite native flowers -- giving your kid(s) a say in what they grow will boost their interest and buy-in. Leafy greens, like lettuce and spinach, are healthy, fast-growing choices that get an instand edibility boost when kids grow them. If your child loves flowers, then quick-blooming annuals like snapdragons, marigolds, or petunias are all excellent choices.
Label Containers With Their Names to Give Them Ownership
In addition to giving your child their own tools and gloves, not to mention some jurisdiction over what plants to grow, let them have full control over one or two plants. Doing so empowers them and gives them responsibility. Perhaps even more importantly, it shows them you trust them and builds their self confidence. It's a parenting win-win! If the plants flourish, hooray! If they fail, there's valuable hands-on learning and troubleshooting to do that'll ensure the next attempt is successful!
Mini-tip: Boost one or all of your child's plants with a little covert fertilization and enjoy the conversations that ensue. "Why is your plant so much bigger than the rest?!"
Eat the Fruits of Your Labors
Children with firsthand food cycle experience better understand and appreciate the quality of fresh, healthy food. Appreciating good food is part of a healthy lifestyle. The plants you grew together took work and patience -- an ulimately, when they appear on the diner table, they better be delicious! A great tip is to try out and test recipes ahead of your own porch garden planter harvest with store bough fruits and/or veggies. (Another parenting win.) Margherita pizzas with fresh tomatoes and basil; sliced strawberries over your morning cereal, seared green beans in a garlic and olive oil... Growing food is only half the fun!
Note: When you begin gardening with your child, you may need to make extra considerations, like growing season and climate. But, whether you are a novice gardener or have years of experience, the vertical planters from Porch Garden Pots offer an excellent cultivation platform for whatever you'd like to grow. View our planter kits now and get growing!