Guide to gardening with kids

Gardening is a great thing to share with your whole family, especially children. Introducing gardening at a young age has many benefits. Here we discuss what these benefits are and offer some tips on how best to get started.

What are the benefits to gardening with children?

1.    Keeps them busy
It can be difficult to keep kids entertained, especially during long school holidays. Gardening can help keep them occupied as there are so many different jobs to be done in the garden. It is also a great excuse for them to get a bit mucky.

2.    Gets them outside
It is important to make sure kids get enough time outside. Gardening can help kids want to spend their time in the fresh air, rather than always staying inside playing games or watching TV.

3.    Teaches them about where food comes from
Gardening is a great way of introducing to children where their food comes from. Planting some herbs, fruit or vegetables can make children understand what processes are involved in producing the food they eat. It will also hopefully encourage them to grow as much as they can rather than always buying from the supermarket.

4.    Teaches them how to grow and look after flowers
Gardening allows children to fully understand the time and effort it takes to grow flowers. Teaching them these lessons early on are great. If you grow flowers with them from seeds or bulbs, it can teach children the need to be patient and wait for the rewards.

5.    Can help aid their understanding of nature
Gardening is not only about the flowers. It allows kids to understand the importance of plants in nature and how they affect wildlife. Teaching them about why flowers are so important for bees as well as encouraging birds and other wildlife into your garden will teach your kids to identify and learn about different species in a practical and fun way.

6.    Can help them cook
Once your child has grown their own herbs or vegetables, cook using these fresh ingredients with your children. Not only will this teach them how to cook, it shows them how much better fresh ingredients can taste.

7.    Can be a family activity
There is no age limit for gardening, making it a great activity to share with the family across all generations.

8.    Can help with their reading
When gardening, get your children to read the labels before planting. This not only means they are aware of how to plant and take care of the flowers; it also helps improve their reading skills.

Our Top Tips for Gardening with Kids

1.    Give them their own section of the garden
Start off by giving your child a small section of the garden that they can call their own. This gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility. If they oversee this section, they need to know it is their responsibility to look after it. It also means they can easily see the results of their hard work. If possible, let them choose what they want to plant here. Whether its flowers, vegetables or herbs, letting them decide will make it more fun.

2.    Buy some small gardening tools
For young children, buy some small gardening tools especially for them. It will make it easier for them rather than carrying a watering can that's too heavy or gardening tools which are sharp. Having their own tools again gives them a sense of responsibility.

3.    Don't make it into a chore
When gardening with kids, make sure they want to do it. If you force them to do it or treat it like a chore, they may not enjoy it. If you make it into a fun activity, they will more than likely want to keep on doing it in the future.

4.    Consider what you plant wisely
Although you should let the child have some say on what they want to grow, be conscious of what you are planting. Try and go for things that you know grow easily. If you go for something tricky to look after, the child can become disappointed if it doesn''t grow correctly and could put them off gardening. With flowers, try and go for ones that will grow quickly so the kids can see results ASAP. Also, consider planting a variety. Having different colours, textures and smells will make the whole experience more exciting for the children and can be educational.

5.    Encourage wildlife
Teach your children about wildlife at the same time as planting pretty flowers. Choose bulbs which are great for pollinating to attract bees and butterflies. Also, put up a bird house in the garden to attract different species of birds.

6.    Enjoy the results
Once the hard work has paid off, make sure the kids enjoy the results. If they have planted herbs, fruit or vegetables, make sure you cook something lovely with it. If you have produced some beautiful flowers, display cut flowers proudly in your home.

7.    Monitor their progress
Keep a record of how well they have done. If they have planted some flowers, make sure to take pictures of the beautiful displays before the end of the season. You could also press some of the petals and use in a scrap book. These keepsakes are nice for kids to look back on as it shows them how much they have achieved and can encourage them to continue gardening for years to come.

Gardening from an early age can really aid a child's development. It can help them appreciate nature, learn some great skills and keep them entertained. Use the tips discussed to ease them into gardening and hopefully they will fall in love with it.

If you need any help or advice with flower bulbs or grass seed then please contact us. Boston Bulbs Wholesale is a privately - owned business with over 35 years' experience of importing only the finest quality horticultural products throughout Europe and from farmers and growers all over the UK. Whether you're a landscaper, nursery, local authority, wholesaler, retailer, private business or individual gardener, give us a call on 01775 769 333 or visit /

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