Bonding With Your Kids Through Gardening

Gardening is much more than simply a household chore. For many people it’s a way of life. And for those
gifted with a green thumb, gardening is a real relationship with nature and the cycle of life, as well as a
literal reconnection with how we used to put food on our tables. Most people who love gardening didn’t
just stumble upon it on their own, they were shown the path. Gardening has been passed down from
generation to generation, first by necessity, and now just for the sheer joy of it. Parents have bonded with
their children over gardening for as long as people have been on earth, and you can continue that tradition
with your own kids today. So if you notice your kids hanging around while you do the gardening, it might
be time to ask them to join you. It’s never too early to get your kids started, and you’ll find gardening an
incredible bonding experience.

What’s better to a kid than digging in the dirt? They’ll watch you weeding, digging out holes for new plants
and picking fruits and vegetables when they’ve matured, and wonder why they haven’t been invited for
the fun. So start them simply. Regardless of their age, they’ll be happy to dig a hole for you. And if you’ve
planted fruits and vegetables that are easy to pick, like tomatoes or strawberries, they’ll surely be able to
handle it. They’ll absolutely love you for giving them a time when getting dirty is allowed, and you’ll be lit
up by the huge smiles on their faces.

Equipping your tiny gardener shouldn’t be too difficult. Use common sense to discern the tools they can
handle from the ones mommy needs to keep to herself. Most gardening centers will sell a child-sized set of
gardening tools, with edges so dull you don’t have to worry. Get them their own, as well as a pair of gloves
that fit them. Think about picking up a set of smaller rakes and hoes, if you feel they’re old enough to give
it a try. You may be nervous at first about giving them all these metal tools, but remember that they’ll only
be using them under your supervision. And the more ‘toys’ they get to play with while gardening, the bigger
the chance they’ll keep coming back for more. Teach them simple safety rules, but don’t get too caught up
with it. If you have to give them more than a rule or two for any tool, maybe you should wait another year
before putting it in their little hands.

If you’re a healthy eater that struggles with your kid’s constant request for chicken nuggets and macaroni
and cheese, gardening is an incredible opportunity to bond over good nutrition. When people are more
connected to where their food comes from, they tend to make healthier choices. So get your kids involved
with any fruit and vegetable planting you do. If they can be there throughout the process, they’ll be amazed
by how things grow. You can let them pick a couple things to plant themselves, and put them ‘in charge’
of a bit of the garden. When it comes to harvest time, you’ll be shocked at how quickly they want to chow
down on homegrown carrots or broccoli, even if you’ve never been allowed to sneak them onto their plates
before.

Even with the best lawn mower on the market, you may want to leave that gardening chore to the
grownups. Besides, that’s how dad bonds with the neighbors. But with all the opportunities for good, old-
fashioned dirty fun, and the unique teaching moments you’ll enjoy, gardening is a truly satisfying way to
bond with your kids.

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Comments

  1. Patricia Russell says:

    I enjoy gardening very much. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love gardening! Really, good ideas for gardening! That is a great post, informative and helpful as well! Thank you very much for sharing.

  3. I had fun gardening as a kid, it’s a good activity for children!

  4. I love having my kids help me in the garden – such a great way to connect!

  5. We had gardens and my kids like planting and harvesting. They were no where to be found when it was time to weed.

  6. I love gardening. My girls love to help me. We spend a lot of time working together on it.

  7. We enjoy gardening too. I should be weeding my herb garden right now!

  8. I love gardening but I’ve never planted veggies, flowers. I’ve had my girls help me since they were little. My hubs and I have been talking about planting veggies this year. I’m sure our oldest would appreciate them if she grew them herself.

  9. We really don’t have any room for a garden.. although we might try some container gardening.
    Thanks for sharing
    Minta

  10. Maybe when they were younger this might have seemed like a good idea but now…it’s too much like work 🙂
    The man-child will cut the grass but not without his hand out.

  11. We are going to garden together this year, but need to wait to make sure that it isn’t going to snow again!

  12. This is what I plan on doing with the kids this weekend – if the rain will stay away! They really enjoy it.

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