Gardening with Kids – Greening those little Thumbs!

Gardening is an amazing hobby for kids to cultivate - Parenting resources by ZenParent
Hurray!! April is the month to rekindle your gardening skills and what better company than your kids to green your thumbs?With World Earth Day (22nd April) happening this month, bring out those gloves and spades and pruners. Let not things like- what to grow, how much space you need, what soil to get -  deter you from taking advantage of the ‘gardening moments’ with your kids.Fun FactorGardening is a great hobby for the little one and an amazing bonding activity for the parent. Along with all the fun to be had in getting their hands dirty (literally!), your child will also develop a better understanding of the environment around them.Children are natural gardeners - they're curious, they learn by doing and enjoy playing in the dirt. So, let your kid marvel at the magic of seeing a small seed turn into a beautiful flowering plant. The bugs, birds and butterflies that are part of the green ecosystem will only add to the magic!GARDENING 1The BenefitsKids who garden have been found to have greater concentration levels, observational skills and better ability to plan and organize. Children who grow vegetables tend to eat more fruits and vegetables since they also have a better understanding of nutrition. In children with special needs, gardening has been found to have a soothing effect and has proved useful in reducing anger and aggression. And not to mention, the universe benefits in a big way as well when the future inhabitants are more considerate towards Mother Nature!gardening 2Tips & Techniques1. Let the kid have his/ her own little garden bed. Allow him to select his favorite vegetable/flower seeds.2. It would help to equip your little gardeners with small-sized Gardening gloves, Rubber boots, Watering can, Wheelbarrow, Rake, Shovel and Hoe set. If your kids are over 10 years old, you can share your gardening tools with the kids. That way, they feel more responsible - both about the tools as well as the their garden patch.Gardening Tools - Parenting Resources by Zen Parent3. Engage the kids through the entire process from seeds to the final grow. Entrust them with the responsibility of watering the plants regularly.4. Never forget to praise your child in his efforts. That would mean a lot to them.5. Show off their work to grandparents, neighbours and guests who visit. This will continue to keep the kids motivated to take care of their little garden patch.Safety Precautions
  • Chemicals and pesticides should always be used under parental guidance.
  • Give the kids an idea of which animals/ insects to watch out for like, spiders, ants, snakes, insects that might cause an unpleasant or a painful encounter.
  • Encourage them to adopt adequate sun protection like wide brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and comfortable loose fitting clothes (an apron would be a good idea).
  • Kids are quick to follow when it comes to tool safety. Awareness and guidance is enough to prevent any untoward accidents.

via Google images, Flickr creative commons