The garden can be a great place for children. They’ll learn the value of hard work, benefit from the fresh air and exercise and gain an appreciation for the natural world. Here’s how to get—and keep—their attention in the garden:
- Always bear in mind children’s short attention span. Make gardening as action-packed as possible to develop their enthusiasm. Turn weeding and watering into a game or contest. Tackle chores in short bursts.
- Involve children in each stage of the garden’s development, from planning to planting. Look through books together and take them to public gardens and parks to see what plants and scenes they like best.
- Encourage them to draw garden scenes and make use of their ideas wherever possible.
- Plan dens and hideaways so that the garden is a place of play and adventure.
- Enable their success—give them seeds that sprout most easily and bedding plants that are about to flower.
- Protect their health. Supervise children carefully, especially the very young who are apt to put leaves, dirt and the like in their mouths. Give older children properly sized tools and watch to make sure they use them properly.