Gardening is an activity that benefits everyone as it enables you to stay active while spending time outdoors. Although it’s mostly adults who potter around in the backyard, studies have shown that gardening can be highly beneficial for children as well. According to a research, school gardening was linked to increased science scores in children. Meanwhile, another study which involved school kids in Texas revealed that children who grew produce showed a preference for vegetables as snacks. If you want to encourage your child to spend more time digging or planting in your garden, then making your outdoor space more child-friendly should be a priority. Here are some easy ways to make your garden more appealing and safe for your little ones.
The Right Plants Matter
Allowing your child to grow vegetables and fruits in your garden teaches them where food comes from, and it makes them more willing to try eating healthy food. However, some plants such as cauliflower, celery, and eggplant can be tricky to grow, so it’s important to choose the right plants if you want your little one to spend more time gardening. Pick easy-to-grow plants that are fun to pick and eat, such as strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
You should also ensure that there’s a nearby faucet or a clean bucket of water where your child can give their newly harvested fruits and veggies a quick clean if they have a habit of snacking on them straight from the garden. Meanwhile, if your child likes to grow plants with lovely scents, give them a few pots where they can grow some lavender, jasmine, or scented geraniums. Though these plants thrive in gardens, they also do well when they’re brought indoors.
Have a Spot Where They Can Rest and Play
Your child should have a cool and shady spot where they can rest or play while they’re in the garden. A patio would be ideal, but if you don’t have one, the spot under the shade of a tree would do just fine. Place some fake grass or playground turf on the chosen area to provide a clean and dry place where your child can sit or lie down, then put up a small tarp tent or a pop up tent over the artificial turf. Park a small wagon beside the tent and fill it with some snacks and drinks, as well as some sunscreen formulated for kids, mosquito repellant, and anything else that you think your child might need while they’re outdoors.
Childproof Your Garden
Children are naturally curious, so it’s wise to childproof your outdoor space so they can stay safe while gardening. Only grow safe and non-toxic plants, and make sure that all sharp tools, machinery, and chemical fertilizers are locked away or out of reach. You may also want to give your child their own tools since adult-sized gardening tools might be unwieldy and unsafe for little hands. Some of the best ones include the Storybook Kids Explorers Club Kids Gardening Tools which comes with three tools in a tote bag, gloves, and a watering can. Meanwhile, the Born Toys Kids Gardening Set comes with tools, a hat, gloves, an apron with pockets, and a spray bottle. Finally, consider growing plants that naturally repel mosquitoes and other bugs such as citronella, peppermint, and marigolds to prevent your child from getting bitten while they’re gardening or playing.
Gardening is a pastime that can benefit a child’s physical and mental health. Consider these tips to make your garden child-friendly so your little one will enjoy spending more time outdoors as they plant and pick their favorite veggies, fruits, and flowers.