Growing up in the Garden
It is said that education starts at home and what better way to kick start than involving our children in the garden by giving them small responsibilities and progressive projects to nudge them on their way. Not only is this practice constructive, it also gets the critical and creative juices flowing, but most importantly it pulls them away from the wasteful world of computers and casters. Beyond this, precious memories are made and significant skill sets are inadvertently developed. The bonding benefits between parent and child, along with the careful care for living things are highly beneficial for the emotional and cognitive capabilities of our inquisitive children.
The way that children see the world is highly influenced by our habits and practices. As adults, we are the role models of the younger generations and it is important that our influences are correct. Simple acts like completing chores for pocket money or helping elderly neighbours can instill great morals. Further more, creating, crafting and using recycled materials speaks volumes to an inquisitive mind. Carefully constructed activities are fun for kids and they enhance the time that we spend together. It’s almost like creating a 3D scrapbook of memories and experiences.
Growing up my brother and I had our list of chores to complete, like cutting the grass and bagging the leaves. Although we often cheated, at least it taught us to work together and that blaming each other for the dog’s mess in the neighbour’s garden wasn’t acceptable. We were allowed to plant just about anything we wanted, as long as we didn’t make a mess or leave the tools out in the garden for the rain to devour. These small but encouraging tasks eventually lead to a lifelong passion and love for all things green.
Here are some simple chores that can be given to children to teach them gardening skills and responsibility;
- raking the leaves
- watering the garden
- weeding the borders (make sure to identify which plants are not weeds)
- maintaining the bird bath and bird table
- putting the kitchen scraps in the compost bin
- filling the water barrel
- planting seeds/bulbs
- re-potting plants
- planting new plants in the borders
- turning the soil
- feeding animals or livestock
- collecting eggs
- help harvesting fruits and vegetables
- transplanting saplings into bigger pots
- maintaining their own patch
- sweep the patio/drive/greenhouse
- shovelling the snow in the colder months
- Mowing the lawn
- cutting the hedge
- painting the fence/shed/wall
- taking cuttings
- cleaning the pond
*It is important to start small and gradually develop skill sets. These activities require little or no tools. Supervision is a must for younger children.