Gardening in summer is a pleasure; with the heat turned up and the sun shining, there is no better place to be than in the outdoors. Summer gardening is a great way to get your little ones engaged with nature, and learning through a fun activity. It is important for children to have a connection and gain an appreciation with the natural world around them.
There is plenty of worthwhile activities to be had in the garden to stimulate all the family. From digging in the soil, planting seeds in wet paper, or watching your herbs grow in a container box, there is a bit of gardening to suit all interests!
Working together to achieve a goal is a great family bonding exercise. It also teaches the values and norms of teamwork to your children, building up their confidence and sociable skills. To make it a fair activity, assign each member of your family a special job in which they have to follow through to help maintain the garden. These tasks could be anything, for example, assign someone to be in charge of watering, and someone else for planting new seeds. To keep it interesting for everyone, you can rotate the jobs each week. This also allows the whole family to learn about all the various jobs that add up to maintaining a full functioning garden.
If you have limited space, or if your back garden is made up of decking or a patio without any beds for planting, by introducing containers you can still get the most out of your space. Recycle milk jugs, egg cartons, and any other containers that you use on a daily basis, and use them to create your own container garden. You could even use a pair of old shoes for quirky touch! Simply poke through a few holes in the bottom of your chosen container, and throw in some rocks to keep it well positioned. Then add your soil, seeds and flowers, and double check the container is in a place where it will get plenty of sunlight.
Think of the garden as a laboratory, and let your little scientists learn from the sights and scents by experimenting with planting a range of plants and vegetables. Children love to explore, and by opening your garden doors and allowing them to get stuck in, they will feel a sense of independence and will get a real buzz from the whole experience. Ok, so your garden may not be looking ‘perfect’ - but what is more important, watching your children blossom, or your favorite petunias bloom? Over time, the whole family will learn how to get it right, and your garden will be blooming marvelous!
To help you and your family to make a decision about what to plant in your backyard, have a think about what groceries you buy often. If you’re often having to buy herbs such as parsley, and thyme, how about growing it in your garden? Even if you’re little ones don’t enjoy it, they’ll appreciate the smells, and the adults can appreciate the taste!
Enjoy the fruits of your labor, and get the whole family involved in sourcing tasty recipes including your home grown goodies. This is a great way of teaching your children about where food comes from, and to value everything you have on your dinner plate. The activity will also give them an insight in to cooking, and they’ll get thorough enjoyment out of eating something that they’ve grown and helped prepared!
To celebrate all your hard work, what better way to unwind than throwing a garden party on a glorious and warm summer evening. Brush off your garden furniture, and light up the BBQ! It can be a get together with a few close friends, or just an intimate family affair. It is important for your children to learn from new experiences and be active, but it is just as important for them to know when to relax and just have fun.