If you are looking to create a beautiful family friendly garden, I'd like to share some secrets that can help you create your own. The first and most important thing is to include everyone in the process. Kids need to know how to do things on their own and how to connect with nature. This is one of the biggest challenges we face as adults when it comes to gardening. Let's face it, we have jobs, obligations and other things that often keep us from spending time outside doing something we enjoy like gardening with our kids. So, if we can learn ways to incorporate these activities more into our everyday lives then we will be successful at cultivating healthy kids and gardens... so let's start now!
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We believe that gardening is a great way to teach kids about the world around them and how to connect with the timeless cycles of nature. By gardening together as a family, you can create a garden that is good for kids of all ages: from toddlers who are just learning how to walk or run, to teenagers who are learning about the importance of being grounded. Here are some tips for creating a family-friendly garden:
1. Plan well! Create an area for your garden in your backyard. Make sure there is plenty of room for all members of your family to play and explore without getting in each other's way. Ask the children to rank their favorite yard activities and make sure the garden takes them into consideration. Be sure to include some sort of trellis tunnel for a whimsical space.
2. Make a list of what fresh vegetables your family likes to eat, and grow those. Choose plants that grow fast for instant gratification. Radishes may grow quickly but not everyone likes their spicy bites. Try green beans, or arugula from seed. The edible arugula flowers are sure to please even if the leaves don’t.
3. Keep things fun! You don't need any fancy tools or expensive materials to make a garden—just a few basic tools will do just fine (like shovels, hoes, rakes, and wheelbarrows). Let kids get creative by using their imaginations for fun garden art. Allow them to experiment and get dirty….even consider including a mud kitchen for maximum imaginative play. Designate a cleaning station where children understand they are to tidy up before coming indoors, and where they can also help clean the harvest.
A family-friendly garden can be any number of things, but it is most often a space that includes features and management practices to make it child-friendly. Since children can't necessarily care for a garden on their own, the adult in charge (typically the parent) often needs to take on some of the labor. Kids can help with watering, digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, and harvesting when allowed–all very important jobs!
Gardening is a wonderful way to get kids outdoors, get them exercise, and teach them a skill. When children are involved with gardening, they learn how to stay grounded in the present moment. Gardening also encourages kids' critical thinking skills as well as their creativity. Not only do kids benefit from gardening, but adults can reap the wellness benefits any garden will provide.. There are many ways to get your child interested in gardening: through smells, tastes, sights and of course touch.
In the end, creating a family friendly garden is largely about creating an environment that is designed with the entire family in mind. It means ensuring that the garden is safe, that there are appropriate tools to work with, and that the entire gardening experience doesn't become too cramped or demanding in its care. Enjoy and play there together and your child is sure to create core memories to last a lifetime!