This post is in collaboration with Chrysty Miles:
Looking after your outdoor areas can be tremendously enjoyable if you involve your children in an imaginative and informative way. Gardening is a proven way of de-stressing and getting your children involved embeds quality family time. Let’s take a look at some of the activities you could be getting up to.
(1) Plant some flowers
Go to the local garden center and peruse the array of plants and potted flowers. As a family, and with your children fully involved in the decision-making process, choose plants that would fit nicely into your garden. By involving your children in the decisions, they are more likely to want to get hands on when you come to put the plants out! Decide on a suitable day to bed the plants- preferably a weekend day so you have no time limits on the activity and can even have an outside lunch if the weather permits. Throughout the planting process you should model to your children how to dig out a hole, put the plant in and then fill the hole again. Don’t be scared to let them have a go and praise them at every opportunity. Most children love the thought of a job well done.
(2) Give them some responsibility
Perhaps the shed has got into a little bit of a state and needs clearing out. Instead of delegating the job to yourself, make it a shared activity and get the kids involved. Show your little ones the importance of accessibility within a restricted place and why certain equipment has a place. Your children will be pleased that you have trusted them with a responsibility, even if it be a minor one. Furthermore, the family bond will be strengthened and you will be able to trust your children to do jobs such as this in the future.
(3) Get creative
While you get to work on grooming the garden with hedge trimmers and a lawnmower, let the kids get creative. They can paint plant pots, label herb pots, make cute signs for vegetable patches or even personalize rocks with chalk for a colorful touch. Other ideas include making mini garden windmills with straws and bright paper and filling sand jars with pastel sands. If they have a playhouse, it’s a fun idea to let them decorate it.
(4) Grow a vegetable garden
Letting your children be involved in growing their own fruit and vegetables is another activity that will both entertain and educate them. You and your children can find an appropriate area where you can plant the trees, plants or seeds and then maintain them accordingly. Children need to learn to look after areas appropriately and take ownership for an important job. Imagine your child’s face when m they finally get to eat something they have grown themselves!
Ultimately, time with your children is important to their cognitive development. Garden areas can be places of exploration and endeavor, but they can also be areas of hard-work, diligence and perseverance.