How to Get Your Kids Interested in Gardening

2:16 AM

One of the most important things you can teach your kids is how to grow their own food. Most families spend a lot of time at the grocery store, but not a lot of time in the garden. Unfortunately, it can be all-too-easy to simply let a child fill his time with games, toys, and movies instead of actually teaching him skills.

Trust me - I get it.

Being a parent is exhausting.

At the end of the day, chances are the last thing you want to do is haul your kid out to the garden and show him how to plant things, but you know what?

You need to.

As a parent, it's your job to teach your child to be self-reliant. Part of that means teaching him how to grow his own food. If there comes a time when he's unable to simply walk into the grocery store or head to a restaurant for dinner, he'll need to know how to plant, how to grow, and how to harvest.

Teach yourself
There are plenty of ways you can get your kids interested in gardening. The first step? Get interested yourself. Teach yourself what you need to know so that you can pass that knowledge on to your kids. If you have no idea how to plant, head over to Amazon and take a look at the gardening eBooks. Kindle has free downloads each day, so stop by on a regular basis to start building a collection of freebie books. If you want print copies, you can typically get inexpensive used books on Amazon or at your local thrift shop.

Explain the importance
Next, make sure that you actually tell your child why gardening is important. Don't just tell your kid, "We're doing this today because I'm the boss and I say so." He's not going to care. Instead, explain to your child that he needs to learn how to grow his own food so that he has the skills to survive if he finds himself in a situation where he can't just go buy food.

Make it normal
Make gardening together part of your routine. Whether you go weed the plants together first thing in the morning or right after school, make it a habit. As you garden with your child, you'll be able to spend time together in silence or time together talking and laughing. Either way, your experience should be relaxing but informative. Don't stress your kid out with perfection. Who cares if he misses a weed or he accidentally pulls up a plant? Just have a good time. If he makes a gardening mistake, show him how to fix it.

Scrapbook it
Consider taking picture of your garden's progress with your child. Let him take a picture of you with the garden or you can take a picture of him with the garden. Take pictures on a regular basis so that you're able to see how your plant is changing and how your child is changing. It'll be awesome to compare pictures from the beginning of the gardening season and the end of the year.

Remember that while gardening presents the opportunity to teach your child a valuable skill, it also gives you a chance to spend time together. One of the best things about being a parent is getting to know your child and getting to see him grow into a capable, independent adult. Cherish your moments together in the garden. They won't last forever.

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  1. Good post. While I'm still on the 'teach yourself' step (aren't we all, though?), we are making an effort to get our daughters more involved in the garden. I don't expect that weeding will eve be made fun, but harvest time contains lots of rewards that will, I hope, make all the work worthwhile to them.

    1. I completely agree. I know I, for one, can't wait to come pick apples at your orchard!

    2. I put in 4 more trees this year, but last night discovered that rabbits devoured the bark on one of the Granny Smiths. So I'm taking tomorrow off to do two things: make chickenwire cages for the trees and teach my lazy dog to hunt.