Spring is the perfect time to engage more proactively with nature. As the world begins to bloom and blossom outside, introduce your children to the delights of planting and growing. Gardening takes planning, decision making, effort, attention, time and a lot of patience. Do not be discouraged if your planting must be on a balcony or even indoors, there are still plenty of opportunities. As well as being a valuable life skill, planting/growing/gardening and the benefits therefore of being in tune with nature have long been associated with good mental health too.
Here are a Few Ways to Engage Children with Nature
Choose Fast-Growing Plants
Our children are used to instant results and therefore relatively instant gratification. Planting will require patience and an understanding that some things are worth waiting for. Days and weeks can however seem eternal to young children, so it is recommended to choose plants that mature relatively quickly. Depending on the variety, radishes could grow to maturity in just a few weeks and Parisian carrots can potentially be harvested in just sixty days. Don’t miss out on planting flowers too – sunflowers are especially rewarding to grow.
Ask Children What to Plant
Whilst bearing in mind the above, children will be far more engaged and willing to help, if they have chosen what is to be grown. Try therefore to grow mainly fruit and vegetables that you know they like, but also take the opportunity to plant something they do not usually eat, as by growing it themselves they may be could encouraged to try. Suggest some appropriate flowers they may like to grow too.
Choose Unusual Plants
Tap into children’s curiosity and grow or buy a few ‘different’ plants. Suggestions include planting yellow tomatoes and/or purple carrots and purchasing Cactus and/or Venus Flytraps, as these are interesting plants that can capture a child’s interest.
Provide the Right Tools
If possible, invest in a set of gardening tools that are just for your child. Children will be more eager to use them if they are their own. Good quality child-sized, durable tools are the best. Ideal tools to include: a fork, a trowel, a watering can that they can lift and pour when full and a pair of gloves.
Contact Bright Little Stars Nursery
To learn more about Bright Little Stars Nursery and our exclusive Parent Area, please feel free to contact us!
If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it on your favourite social media sites.