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Is gardening your stress buster? Here are 10 tips on growing a home garden with your children

Monali Bordoloi Monali Bordoloi 6 Mins Read

Monali Bordoloi Monali Bordoloi

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Gardening is a great way to bond and share life lessons with your child. Here're some home gardening tips to help your kids to learn about planting and maintenance of their very own garden!

Is gardening your stress buster? Here are 10 tips on growing a home garden with your children

Involving your kids in home gardening activities can help them learn new skills, gain confidence in their abilities and bring them closer to nature. As a parent, you can guide them with home gardening ideas and tips, and also help them in the maintenance of their home garden.

So, why not start planning and planting, a little garden at home with your child today?

"Children don't need much encouragement to take up gardening. They are happy to play and dig around in the mud. But as a parent, don't be afraid of the mess and don't discourage them from exploring and making that mess! Secondly, start small. Choose fast-germinating plants so that your child doesn't lose interest. Quick-growing greens such as methi, palak and coriander are good to start with."

- Puja Gurung, founder of a nature club

Why should your child indulge in a bit of gardening?

Let your child get his hands dirty. Let him dig in the soil, plant a seed, water it carefully, and watch it grow. He will learn all about patience and how nature works. He will understand and experience the magic brought about by care, water and sunshine.

And yes, watching fruits or vegetables grow in his own little garden, can help your child gain new respect for the food he eats.

The miracle of gardening

According to Pari Berlin, creative head of a preschool that also runs gardening workshops for children in Bangalore, "Picky eaters usually get interested in eating their vegetables if they grow them." Through gardening workshops, Pari aims to integrate education with nature for the all-around development of children. "Gardening is a wonderful way to help children explore their creativity, use their imagination and interact with nature. Through our gardening workshops, we teach children the foundation of science, explain the different parts of a plant, how living things grow and so on," she says.

Pari believes that gardening can bring about immense changes in children. So, how does it benefit your child? "Gardening is good for hand-eye coordination and gets your child outdoors and into a more active lifestyle. To make your child understand sensory development, you can use gardening. Feeling the texture of the soil, holding and counting seeds, discovering different varieties of flowers and counting petals—these are all learning experiences. Moreover, your child understands all about patience and responsibility by tending to plants," she answers.

Overall development

Puja Gurung, the founder of a nature club that conducts nature-related activities across Bangalore, believes in the power of gardening as a learning tool. "Gardening also gives your child insights into various subjects. It provides a practical understanding of biology, chemistry, geography, history, nutrition and health. It is not just about planting or sowing seeds, it can enhance a child's overall well-being," she stresses.

Moreover, gardening is also considered helpful for children with special needs. Puja explains it thus: Gardening can have a calming effect on special children and those with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). It helps them de-stress and be more mindful. Plus, children who spend more time outdoors are happier, healthier, smarter, and also more creative and confident. Here are some home gardening tips and ideas to share with your child:

10 tips to grow a home garden

  1. Make sure to include your child in choosing plants for your home garden. This will make him feel important and involved.
  2. There is no need to splurge on costly gardening accessories. Together with your child, paint and upcycle old water bottles, car tires or old containers into planters.
  3. Decide a spot for your home garden. However, apartment-dwellers are always hard-pressed for open space. Pari says gardens don't require a lot of space. Your tiny home garden can come up anywhere—convert window sills, balconies, shelves, an unused tabletop or even a corner of a room into a garden. The only prerequisite is that it must have good, natural light. And, make sure that pets or small children cannot easily access this space.
  4. Decide on flowers and vegetables that can be grown easily. You can either buy the seeds or use seeds from the tomatoes, peas and coriander from your kitchen.
  5. Show your child the basics of planting. Watch online videos on home gardening to know more.
  6. Start by asking your child to fill three-fourths of the pot with dry soil. Now, together, plant the sapling or seeds in the middle. Then, cover them with another layer of soil and water.
  7. Your child will love watering the plants. Tending to the plants will make your child all the more excited about gardening. However, tell your child about not wasting water, and the correct amounts of water each plant will require. Be prepared for spills and wet, joyful faces though!
  8. You can get your child to clean the garden or balcony area by collecting leaves, sweeping and tidying the place. An older child can carefully clean the pots too.
  9. Make gardening a parent-child bonding activity. Pari advises: Set aside a few minutes every day to water and weed the plants in your home garden. After a few days, your child will look forward to this special time with you. This can either be first thing in the morning, before you go to school/work or, something you both do once you are home in the evenings.
  10. On weekends, spend a little more time decorating pots and making garden accessories along with your child. Unleash your child's creativity—get him to re-paint old mugs, shells and old containers. It is a great way for you to de-stress too.

Puja Gurung sums it up. "Children don't need much encouragement to take up gardening. They are happy to play and dig around in the mud. But as a parent, don't be afraid of the mess and don't discourage them from exploring and making that mess! Secondly, start small. Choose fast-germinating plants so that your child doesn't lose interest. Quick-growing greens such as methi, palak and coriander are good to start with."

Gardening, she says, is all about unleashing your child's creativity. "There is so much more that you can do together. Tending to plants doesn't just have to be about planting and watering. Read, write and watch the garden and nature-related stories, make a fairy garden, build bird feeders, place a water bowl to attract birds and insects. Go on nature walks or visit farms and parks to help your child see how different things in the natural world are connected," adds Puja.

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Comments

Jayanthan Dec 30 2019

Good one

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