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 Andrew Taylor 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

How To Choose, Plant And Maintain A Fruit Tree

How To Choose, Plant And Maintain A Fruit Tree

Late autumn and winter is the perfect time to plant fruit trees and, whatever sized garden you have, Martyn Loach thinks there's space for a tree if you choose carefully and manage correctly.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Tuesday, 4th of September, 2018.

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 25th of May, 2018.

How Can I Make Compost?

How Can I Make Compost?

Composting is an entirely natural way of recycling your garden and kitchen waste, transforming it into a nutrient rich material that your plants will love. Martyn Loach shows how easy and cheap it is to replicate nature and create the ideal conditions in which your flowers and shrubs will thrive.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Friday, 4th of May, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden In May

What To Do In The Garden In May

Although the weather is feeling decidedly chilly for the time of the year, during May the threat of frost will pass and, with spring well under way, David Coton is in no doubt that this is going to be a busy month in the garden.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Monday, 30th of April, 2018.

comments powered by Disqus

Author

Andrew Taylor Andrew Taylor

View Profile

RSS

View RSS Feed

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

GardenSite Introduce New Kingston Range

GardenSite Introduce New Kingston Range

GardenSite announce the introduction of the Kingston Range, a brand new collection of three multi-purpose lean-to and freestanding carports and a similarly styled contemporary gazebo.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 28th of February, 2019.

What To Do In The Garden In March

What To Do In The Garden In March

The 'Beast From the East' one year, followed by record breaking temperatures the next, no-one can say our weather is predictable but what is foreseeable is that our Garden Centre will be having a huge amount of new stock arriving for spring which officially starts on the 20th March,

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 27th of February, 2018.

Planned TV Gardening Programmes 2019

Planned TV Gardening Programmes 2019

There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, tips and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2019.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 13th of February, 2018.

Which Log Store Should I Buy and Why?

Which Log Store Should I Buy and Why?

Wood burners and open fires that require a good supply of dry, well seasoned wood, have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Log stores have therefore become increasingly essential and David Coton explains the differences between the many that are now available.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 12th of October, 2018.