In these stress-filled times, gardening is a great hobby that also helps you give back and put some important green back into the world. Organic gardening helps you impart important info about eating healthy, the dangers of chemicals, the relationship between food, farming and their appetites, as well as lifelong preferences to your kids.
And what better time than in winter, during vacation, when it’s bitingly cold outside and you really don’t want another hour of the TV blaring inside. Here are I Say Organic’s top strategies for sessions of winter organic gardening with your kids.
Easy peasy growing
How simple is it to grow herbs like mint and garlic? We say super simple. Start off with a few glasses of mint or garlic and whet your child’s interest in the miracle of nature.
Give them space
Whether it’s five pots in your balcony or a garden bed marked out for them, give your kids space that they are responsible for, and use to create whatever they like.
Do they want to paint the pots? Or create shell designs in the garden patch? Plant different colours of flowers together? Plan flowers in a shape? A garden patch or set of pots helps them learn planning skills and exercise their creativity.
What do they want to grow?
Do they like flowers, greenery, vegetables or fruits? Let them make a choice, or choose a mix for them. You’ll need to buy seeds and could also consider getting a few, vital child-sized gardening tools which might keep your kids interested in gardening. Moisten the soil, dig little holes in the pots or beds at a depth of about 3 to 5 inches, and let your children help you plant the seeds.
Make caretaking a daily thing
Once you’ve planted the seeds, you’ll need to help your kids water them at the necessary intervals. Remembering to do this is vital. Create a routine around it – have breakfast in front of the garden. Or make sure that breakfast and tea are followed by with visits to the plants to check on them and water them etc. Sticking to a routine makes sure that not only do kids take care of the plants, but also get invested in seeing growth every day.
Encourage them to interact
Pick out names for the plants – encourage your kids to talk to them and play music near them Encourage a connection with these living beings; it might help your kids see the importance of respecting all living beings, even while eating.
Talk about the process
This is the ultimate lesson of show-and-tell. You can help your kids learn about plants and farming with a practical lesson. With the advent of mobile phones, encourage them to take pictures and create a little online diary of the care they’ve taken.