ONE OF THE UK’s leading commercial nurseries has announced this month (May, 2019) that the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year for 2018 will feature in its 2020 retail catalogue. … Read more
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Gardening is a fun and inclusive activity that people of all ages can enjoy. As well as being something different for the children to experience, it can also be beneficial for their well-being and education. Together with Suttons, an online retailer and gardening expert, we take a look at the benefits of gardening for children and ways to encourage their participation.
The advantages of encouraging children to take up gardening
Being outside and working with plants are excellent ways to boost fitness and knowledge. Currently, there is a worrying statistic that 75% of UK children spend less time outdoors than prison inmates! Kids are becoming more interested in tablets and smartphones and tend to spend more time in the house, so gardening is a great way to get youngsters involved with something different.
Sensory development in little ones gets a boost from exploring, playing and learning outside among lots of different textures and colours. This could involve letting them play with the mud, splash in some puddles and get their hands dirty! It also helps your child build their vocabulary, as they’re exposed to plants and creatures that they wouldn’t if they were indoors. What’s more, the garden can captivate the with brightly coloured flowers and scented garden plants.
Here is research into the benefits of gardening at a young age:
What activities can help kids get involved with gardening?
You have a host of fun activities to make being in the garden an exciting and enjoyable experience at any age. As well as having structured games, it can be good to let your child take the lead on what they want to do in the garden — they might use their imagination to come up with an activity. What about older kids?
Try something constructive — such as building a bird feeder out of a plastic bottle to encourage wildlife into the garden.
If you want to get very young kids involved, try walking them around the garden and search for clues to which animals have been there previously — such as feathers from a wood pigeon or tiny tracks from a hedgehog.
Growing your own produce On top of crafts, why not also grow your own vegetables and plants with your children, grandchildren or students? This is a good way to get them regularly involved in the garden and monitor their own progress.
The key is to make sure you maintain your child’s interest when growing their own produce. So, choose something that is easy to plant and quick to grow — vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and spring onions are all easy to grow and maintain. Even better, try and choose food that they like eating, so they can enjoy the entire process of planting to meal-time!
Why not try planting the below, too:
Trees Unlike vegetables, growing trees takes a lot longer. However, it’s a great gardening project to start.
Here are the easiest trees to grow in the garden:
Planting isn’t difficult either — just use a pot, soil and compost. Later, you and your young gardener can transfer it to a bigger pot.
These are just a few ideas to encourage gardening among youngsters. Make the most of summer 2018 and try a few out!
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