Passing Down The Green Finger Bug

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Every single family has a little budding gardener running around in it somewhere, that person who can’t wait to get their little green fingers stuck into the fun that is growing and harvesting in the backyard. As parents – and indeed grandparents – it is your responsibility to find this hidden enthusiasm and encourage it to blossom.

There is just something so heartwarming about seeing little ones embrace the gardening bug, especially in this day and age where kids think their entire lives are locked within the 9-inch screen of a tablet. Of course, getting little ones into the garden is a delicate balancing act. Even the smallest hint that this is a chore and they will automatically get bored.

Your best bet is to give them free reign in their own little patch of the great outdoors, whether that be in a corner of your veggie patch or a row in one of your large greenhouses. Where is up to you, so long as they have somewhere they can get stuck into, somewhere they can take pride in and care about, somewhere they can see their hard work and enthusiasm start to unfold. That’s the first step.

The next steps all involve activities that will make the whole gardening thing fun:

Herb It All Before

A great way to teach them about the different herbs is to get them to label them for you. Of course, we don’t just mean writing the name on a white sticky label. We mean getting them to make little signs out of popsicle sticks, which they can make as colorful as they want. You could even get them to coordinate the colors so that they know which groups the different herbs belong in.

Make A Plant Pet

A great way to teach your kid about the responsibility involved in gardening – and caring for nature – is to create little DIY plant pots that they can see and feed and water and just generally look after. All you need to do is cut a used plastic soda bottle in half and then fill it with something like cress or chia, pop some googly eyes on, a nose and a mouth and then watch how it grows with sunlight and water. Genius and fun.

A Real Life Story

Every kid knows the story of Jack & The Beanstalk (if they don’t, then you know where to start). So, how about turning this story into a magical gardening experience by showing them how a bean actually grows. Of course, that is not so exciting on its own, which is why we recommend you make a little castle above the clouds, tape it to a chopstick or a dowel rod, and then watch as your beanstalk climbs higher and higher each day and week. It really will make this project more engaging.

Make A Mini Garden

If there is one thing that all children are unified in, it is their love of getting messy with paint. They go crazy for it, which is what makes this project the best of all. All you need to do is buy some little terracotta flower pots and let your little ones decorate them in any way they like. Make them super-colorful. Add spots and stripes. Once you are done, plant different flowers in them and watch them blossom and grow. If you really wanted to run wild with this idea, then you should use this as the basis to make a little fairy garden, complete with doors and windows, little windmills and anything else that you deem to be magical.

In The Flower Bed

A great way to keep your young ‘uns interested and returning to their flower beds is to add some other incentive, such as little decorations. Our favorite on this front is little-painted ladybugs. All you need is some smooth rocks or pebbles, some patio paint and a few paintbrushes. That’s it. Then it just becomes a matter of painting the stones like they are a pretty mob of different coloured ladybugs, before placing them around your garden. Not only will these really compliment your flowers, but you could move them about and then have your kids try and find them. You could do this with other incentives too. You could make a cute little rock caterpillar where each rock (his body) is painted a different color and pattern. Or you could make a little bird feeder that looks like an owl or whatever takes your fancy, by which we obviously mean your kid’s fancy.

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