Most young children love exploring in the dirt and you can turn gardening together into a great learning opportunity!
By doing a little bit of prep work, any child can learn all about gardening. My first suggestion is ensure you are all able to garden with minimal stress. Make sure everyone is wearing “gardening clothes” that can get dirty, adequate water is available for clean up when you’re finished, and that everyone is protected from the sun.
There are so many things you can teach a child while enjoying gardening together! A fun project is to start a garden in your yard. Allow your child hold a seed and feel the texture of the soil. Most children are fascinated by the concepts of dirt, sand, soil, and water and are intrigued to have the opportunities to observe the transformation of solids to liquids and how these materials are used to create living plants. Start by digging a small hole and allowing your child to place the seed in the hole you dug together. Toddlers usually love to play with water, so allow your child to use the hose and water the garden any time they visit your home. Watering the garden is a great task to keep your child involved in the process of watching a plant grow.
For a fun gardening trip together, take your child with you on a visit to a local farm where you can pick ears of corn together. Teach them how to correctly pick an ear of corn from the stalk. After picking the corn, cook it by allowing your grandchildren to choose the cooking process (microwave, boil, or grill) and eat the corn together. Some ears of corn can even be used for popcorn! Simply place the whole ear of corn in the microwave and watch as each kernel pops off. I’ve tried Free Day Popcorn and would definitely recommend them as a great family run company!
While you are cooking or popping corn, discuss the taste, color, type of vegetable, and planting/growing process. By doing this together, it adds to the enjoyment of children wanting to stay involved in gardening as a hobby.
By taking your time to share your hobbies with your child, they can learn many valuable skills! Sharing your passion for gardening is a great opportunity for children to learn a love of nature. When I see young adults who were in my day care when they were children, they often discuss the fun gardening projects that we did together. Most say that they still love to garden today!