When we think about how we spent our free time as children years ago, many will agree that it is far different from how kids today spend their free time. A majority of today’s younger generation spends most of their time indoors, in front of a television or computer screen — even much of their homework must be done online. With today’s technology, kids are no longer encouraged to spend time outdoors with their friends. That’s why it’s important for parents to find outside activities for their children to participate in. Starting a garden is one such way to get your kids soaking up the sun’s vitamin D rays, as well as many other benefits.Teach Them About The Environment: Environmental studies is such a hot button issue these days, yet young people know so little about it. By starting a garden, your children can learn about the benefits of the sun, life cycles of plants, and the ways vegetation helps us in everyday life. It can also teach them to respect nature and all of its creatures.Gets Them Outside: Most kids are more interested in playing video games or watching television than doing anything outside the doors of their own rooms. If you can find a fun activity worth leaving the house for, you can get them to put the games down for at least an hour or two a day. You can make a garden in your backyard or in a community garden (if available). A Healthier Lifestyle: Kids are usually against eating the fruits and vegetables off their plates. If they plant their own healthy produce, they might be more inclined to eat them. By growing their own goods, they are learning to provide for themselves, which is a rare quality for kids to learn these days. They also learn the responsibility of taking care of their own plants or risk losing them.
Give Them A Sense of Accomplishment: Often times, children’s low self-esteem is a major issue. Young people have a tendency to always compare themselves negatively to their peers, whether it’s about grades, appearance or athletic ability. The accomplishment they feel when they grow flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits will raise their self-esteem tremendously.
Tips For Starting A Garden With Your Kids
Start them at an early age. Bad habits are learned, so if your children are used to staying indoors with their faces a few inches away from the computer screen, it’ll be harder to change them. Younger kids will find it easier to change their lifestyles for the better. Choose easy plants. No matter what you want to plant— flowers, fruits, or vegetables— you want to choose something that is easy for new gardeners, like tomatoes or carrots. Often, seed packets have labels that tell you how easy or difficult it is to grow. You want to set up your children to succeed. Make sure that whatever you choose to plant fits in the climate. Certain plants can’t survive in the cold or in extreme heat. It is recommended to choose plants and produce that are indigenous to your area. Start with only one or two plants. You don’t want to overwhelm your children. Let them focus on small tasks. Once they get used to the gardening process, you can proceed to plant more. Buy kid-sized gardening tools. Adult-sized tools will be too big for your children’s small hands, which can ultimately make them frustrated and may even prevent them from continuing to garden. You want gardening to be as fun as possible, so getting them their very own tools can make them feel like part of something.
Starting a garden with your kids can be the bonding experience you’re looking for. Not only can it be the beginning of a healthier lifestyle, it can also teach them skills that even a classroom can’t. It will certainly be worth your time and energy to involve your kids with the gardening experience.