How would you teach a child gardening?
At what age would you teach a child how to start a garden? What tools are best for them to use?
It is great to get a child to start gardening as early as possible. There are kiddies garden sets available online. Get them to plant some vegetables like tomatoes and watch them grow. Teach your child the importance of watering the plant and when it has grown you can make some fun food with the tomatoes. Great for getting them to eat fruit and vegetables too. Check out the Garden Health website, its great for tips and advice!
Child gardening is a way to create a healthy childhood: kids who garden are more likely to eat the vegetables and fruit they grow, and will be more willing to try different types of food. Growing a children's garden allows kids to experiment with different varieties of common vegetables: try growing purple carrots or blue potatoes! read more
I would start small with something they can see grow quickly. Take a half inch cut off of a carrot top and set it in water and it will grow quickly. That way they can see the correlation of putting something into water and the results.
Then I would start a small little set of pots with some radish seeds, or anything that sprouts quickly. (I'm thinking inside because we have severe winters here). Once spring comes you can transfer the activities to outdoors and start a small plot with flowers or vegetables. I would get them gloves and a little spade, and seeds, that should give them a good start.
I think the first thing to consider is age. I think it's never too young. So long as they can pick something up and move around it's a good start. The best age would be at about 1-2 years old when they can start to hold things, walk and coordinate themselves properly.
You can buy plastic brooms and rakes which can help them get in and around the garden or outdoors to clean up any leaves or twigs.
The next step could be to have them pick any fruit or veg that you have growing in the garden. Something simple like tomatoes or strawberries is a good start where the colour of the fruit can stand out and it's not too heavy for them.
I think get them to handle fruits, vegetables, soils and even worms so they're comfortable with how it feels and what to look out for. This will help their confidence for when they get older.
Some of the best memories of my life is gardening with my mother and our cats running curious as to what's going on. We had a big backyard and there was always a seasonal garden. I don't remember the age I started helping but kids start playing with dirt before they can even walk. I imagine when the child is able to comprehend the responsibility aspect that would be the best time to introduce them as helpers.
Gardening is a great skill to understand and know besides the physical workout and getting them away from gadgets for a moment.
I wish you luck and much fun.
Get them out there with you every chance you can. Get them started with saving food scraps and composting.. They love gushy stuff. Teach them names of plants and let them have their own little section of the garden!
I agree with Duffsmom - if they grow something easy that sprouts quickly, it will give them positive reinforcement and they'll get excited. Carrots are good (as she mentioned), and we used to grow sweet potatoes that way, too - they actually make a nice vine.
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