We love our children and we want to teach them to value the things that are important to us. These things include morals, integrity, ingenuity, and an appreciation for the things in life that we consider beautiful and worth expending our energy, time, and effort in order to create. One of those things that many of us love sharing with our children is our love of gardening. Whether you are creating a spectacular garden worthy of acclaim, fame, and blue ribbons everywhere or a simple garden that will hold pretty flowers and a few favorite vegetables there are many lessons that your children can learn from working the earth by your side.
The first, and perhaps best, lesson that most children learn when working in the garden is that life works in cycles. This is an important lesson for children, as it is a lesson that will be repeated often throughout the course of their lives. Of course this is only one of the many lessons that gardening will teach but gardening is one of the kindest ways I’ve ever seen this particular lesson learned and it helps ease children into those times when lessons about the cycle of life are not so kindly or gently presented.
The next lesson that gardening teaches children is that persistent effort often pays out with delightful results. Whether their gardening efforts yielded sweet peppers or pretty flowers, there is often a desired result that is achieved through gardening. If you really want to capture your children’s attention when it comes to gardening choose a fast growing plant for their first gardening experience. The ability to see the fruits of their labor quickly appear is often one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.
If you want to guide your children towards the path of creating a summer garden without quite the fanfare or responsibility you may want to begin simply-perhaps with a potted plant or a hanging tomato plant or something similar that will yield visible and tasty results with much less effort, time, or attention being required in order to achieve quick and enthusiastic results.
Be sure to point out interesting facts about the different plants in your garden that may be exciting to children to learn. Remember your first gardening experiences and share them with your children. You may be surprised to find how much you have in common with your children when it comes to ideas and enthusiasm concerning summer gardens.
When planning a summer garden with kids you need to consider all of the things you would consider when planning other summer gardens but relate those things to pint sized hands and sponge-like minds. Kids soak up every ounce of information we provide them at an alarming rate. Be careful that you aren’t teaching them incorrect logic when it comes to gardening and growing beautiful summer plants.
More importantly, you should make a concerted effort to insure that you are teaching your children the positive aspects of gardening so that this becomes an activity they look to for enjoyment and pleasure rather than approaching with dread. You should also take great pains to insure that you allow your children to grow the things they will like in your summer garden too. Strawberries and watermelon are popular favorites for younger hands to grow because little mouths enjoy eating these delicious fruits that can be grown in most gardens. They also like to grow flowers that they can tend and watch throughout the summer if flowers are your summer garden calling rather than food.
When gardening with children there are many lessons that you can teach your children along the way. Science, math, and meteorology all have roles in gardening but you should also be on the lookout for the valuable lessons that your children can teach you about gardening and life in general when you take them out to work with you in your summer garden.