Gardening Projects for Families
Sometimes when we think of spending time with our children, it is usually spent reading a book, watching a movie or playing sports. Why not think of gardening with the family? It provides involvement between family members and is both educational and fun!
There are several gardening projects you can do at home with the kids. You can plant sunflowers and once they have bloomed, take pictures of your children standing against them to see how the flowers and your kids have grown! Send a copy of the pictures to family and friends. Try growing a butterfly garden and enjoy watching the butterflies during the season. Make a log of what butterflies you attract and observe them. You can plant herbs and use them for cooking at home, or grow flowers and dry them to make a wreath or press them into a scrapbook.
Remember young kids have a very short attention span. Make sure that you have lots of options available so they can get started immediately and stay busy. All children delight in getting an opportunity to work with their hands even the little ones. You'd be surprised what a toddler can do, they can dig holes while you plant seeds. Digging holes is one thing that seems to hold endless fascination for toddlers. Planting vegetables like radishes that come up in three or four days are great for toddlers too! Older children can take part in deciding what to plant. You can even designate a portion of the garden for their projects. Never underestimate what a young child can do.
One benefit I have found as the mother of a picky eater is that when children grow their own vegetables they will generally try eating things they otherwise wouldn't walk into the same room with. My son Michael hated tomatoes but when we grew some last summer he was excited to try them and he now likes them. This proves there's hope out there for other moms!
Above all have fun and remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. The time you share with your child will be memories you have provided in their lives. Gardening with your kids teaches them about science and about working together and having your children help in these activities gives them a sense of self worth and accomplishment.
Try gardening as a family today!
Sandra Kuykendall-Lombard is a free-lance writer, homeschooler, craftswoman, artist as well as a parent to a special needs child. As a free-lance writer, her content focuses on gardening, crafts, relationships and family life. She maintains a position as a Moderator and Commmunity Leader at Baby University, an online parenting community. http://www.babyuniversity.com/.