Every weekend one of my favourite activities begin with my children, it is something that we all look forward too each week. Our seeds that we saved from the fruits and veggies have dried out and they are now waiting for us to take them and begin a whole new journey of gardening together.
We begin by weeding the flower beds, watering the garden and then planting new seeds, this is all part of our Sunday mornings.
Gardening has been a special time amongst South Africans for decades. As a small child I have fond memories of watching my father attend to his gardens each day and so what better family memory to create than creating a beautiful garden with my children. After all, what child does not like being outside, digging in soil, getting dirty, creating things and watching them grow!
This weekly activity has also provided a great outlet for communicating in our household and we have strengthened our relationships with each other as a result. I simply love when my children come running, little pot in hand to show me that their seed, from the previous week, has started to grow.
Gardening has mustered great responsibility with my little one’s and this is something that is not taken lightly in our house. Yes, there have been times when they have all learnt about cause and effect, like not watering the seedling resulted in a unhappy plant, but I am happy to report that we have had very few casualties along the way.
When we began gardening with our children, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity for me to broaden their knowledge of good food vs bad food. Although I am lucky in that my children don’t have a problem eating their vegetables, this did not stop me from giving a lesson or two on the importance of putting the right food into our bodies.
Getting out in the sunshine, digging in the dirt is also a wonderful way to discover and learn about all the creepy crawly’s that lurk beneath the surface and everyone loves to watch their little sister being chased by their latest discovery. All in all, this is a lovely way for moms and dads to unwind with their kiddies each week and discover new things.
Here are a few tips on how to create a garden with your child:
Keep it simple.
Give your child their own garden space to look after and nurture. It does not need to be a big area at all, a few pots is all that is needed to get them excited.
Involve older children on the planning and design of the garden. Tweens love getting involved when you entice their opinion about something.
Use light-weight tools and gardening equipment with your children.
Grow an interesting assortment of of seeds such as sunflowers, corn, pumpkin, tomatoes.
Plant flowers that attract bird life and butterflies into your garden.
Incorporate flowers that are bright and sweet in smell.
Most importantly, have fun!