How to Interest Children in Gardening

Certain challenges in life are easier to negotiate than others, Ellie Goodall thinks that persuading children to become interested in gardening shouldn't be too difficult and can be very rewarding.

Created by Ellie Goodall on Friday, 8th of April, 2016.
Updated on Tuesday, 20th of December, 2016.


Interest Children in Gardening

Gardening has various aspects to please any child i.e. getting dirty, digging holes and messing about with water, it should be a doddle.

Growing plants from seed is a good start and there are now several suppliers who offer seeds designed to encourage youngsters' interest.

Fast growing varieties, brightly coloured plants, grasses that can be cut to shape or nasturtiums that are both colourful and edible.

Grow Something Extraordinary

Children won't generally take to the ordinary, what sparks their enthusiasm is the big,  bright and brash.

Sunflowers fit into that category pretty well as do unusual shaped vegetables such as pumpkins that are both garish and useful as scarey Halloween lanterns.

Plants that mature quickly such as salad leaves have a dual function. Firstly children don't have a great reputation for patience, so fast growing produce goes some way to solving that problem, and secondly they can eat what they grow which is a bonus.

Creepy Crawlies

The garden is full of creepy crawlies that should keep children fascinated and can be educational. 

Who needs a book when you can teach children about natures creepy crawlies by going out side and looking at the birds and the bees.

The fascinating way pollination works will be nearly as interesting as picking up an old log and discovering the way nature deals with re-cycling. The mass of insect life beavering away returning goodness to the earth from detritus is a lesson in ecology.

Attract Wildlife Into Your Garden

It couldn't be easier to attract birds to your garden, showing your children how many types there are, what they eat, which ones spend all year in Britain and which fly to hotter countires. Attach a fat ball to the clothes line and watch how quickly the squirrels learn to feed off it.

Leave pet food out for hedgehogs and explain how they, along with frogs, are the gardener's friend.

When the children get older and under supervision, a wildlife pond will be the source of hours of interest and learning.

Children should be inspired by the raft of TV wildlife programmes. So catching, drawing and photographing insects and other wild life might encourage them to become the next Chris Packham if not Bill Oddie.

Compost Heap

Create a herb patch for your children to grow a variety of herbs.

The compost heap should be full of wonder. Just why does it heat up so much, might it be those pesky bacteria. What are they and how does the composting process work, what comes out at the other end and why is it so good for the garden?

Creating a herb garden should be a delight. The soil doesn't have to be great, and if you don't have much of a garden they can easily be grown in containers.

The herbs are tactile and sensory, so play a blindfold game to see how many they can recognise by touch and smell. The children can also start to learn how to cook with them – anyone for lavender biscuits?

Leaves are everywhere, get the children to collect, identify, dry and put them in a scrapbook. Teach them the function of leaves, photosynthesis and the importance of sunshine, Cover up a patch of grass and, coming back the following week, see how it is has turned yellow.

Telling the Time

Build your own sundial, a biro and a piece of cardboard is all you need. The biro can act as the 'gnomon' i.e. the sharp bit that casts a shadow, and then mark the cardboard each hour where the shadow has fallen. This simple device can inform children about the way the earth moves, the planets and ultimately the universe.

Designate part of the garden, preferably a sunny fertile plot, as your children's patch and let them grow what they want, whether this is vegetables, flowers or herbs. Get them to learn responsibility while enjoying everything the garden offers.

I would love to hear your ideas and tips on how you get your children involved in gardening.

Related Articles

What To Do In The Garden in June

What To Do In The Garden in June

At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our Garden Centre in Birmingham. David Coton will be planting the bedding in containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Wednesday, 17th of May, 2017.

How To Choose Spring Bulbs For Early Colour

How To Choose Spring Bulbs For Early Colour

Spring flowering bulbs brighten the garden from when snow is on the ground right through to the sunlit early summer. Here is David Hall's guide to achieving a marvellous display of colour to herald in the new year.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Monday, 22nd of August, 2016.

How To Create A Herb Garden

How To Create A Herb Garden

Interest in growing herbs has increased sharply over the last few years, many are used in cooking and others have valuable medicinal qualities. Nathan James Dodd gives you advice on what herbs to choose and how to grow them.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Wednesday, 11th of May, 2016.

Take Part In The Big Garden Birdwatch

Take Part In The Big Garden Birdwatch

On the weekend of 30 – 31 January it will be your chance to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. David Hall was one of half a million people who took part last year, recording a vital snapshot of nature in the UK.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Wednesday, 27th of January, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

Ellie Goodall Ellie Goodall

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

What To Do In The Garden In July

What To Do In The Garden In July

After all the dry hot weather that much of the country has experienced over the last few weeks, the lavender in David Coton's garden is at its most colourful and scented, he's cutting the flowerheads to make lavender biscuits or drying them for pot pourri. Here are more jobs you can do in the garden during July.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Sunday, 25th of June, 2017.

Supplier Spotlight: Forest Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show

Supplier Spotlight: Forest Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show

As a yearly visitor to the Hampton Court Flower Show, I'll be enjoying much of the show's inspiration and fabulous florals this year, but I'm equally excited to see the fantastic gardening range provided by Forest Garden Products.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Friday, 23rd of June, 2017.

Review of the Barlow Tyrie Titan Rustic Garden Furniture Range

Review of the Barlow Tyrie Titan Rustic Garden Furniture Range

Robert Hall takes an in-depth look at the new Titan Range from Barlow Tyrie in his latest guide to choosing and buying garden furniture…

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Thursday, 8th of June, 2017.

Guide to Choosing and Buying Metal Sheds

Guide to Choosing and Buying Metal Sheds

Robert Hall reviews which metal shed would best suit you and your garden's needs in this detailed guide about the benefits, types, brands and most commonly asked questions customers ask when buying a metal shed.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Wednesday, 7th of June, 2017.