Gardening is more fun and rewarding if you involve your kids. Kids no matter how young love to help in the garden. This is not a surprise since gardening connects them firmly to nature.
Because they love gardening, you do not have to do all the work yourself. Allow them to help with some chores. Besides the enjoyment, your children will also learn important life lessons from the garden.
However, not all gardening work is appropriate for children depending with their age. Some gardening work can only be done by your children as they grow older. This is because the strength as well as the ability to comprehend and follow instructions or guidelines vary among children of different age groups.
To help you involve kids in the garden, below is a breakdown of chores children can handle in different ages. Check out the guidelines below on age- appropriate gardening work for kids.
Children 1 to 3 years old
Children in this age bracket love the dirt in the garden. They also want to help out in almost every gardening chore. This is mainly because they are learning various aspects in their immediate environment. Rather than discourage your toddler, there are chores you can allow their contribution.
The very young kids can pick up the sticks in your garden while those who are 2 to 3 years can help with some watering. Just remember to watch out since they can overdo the watering. 3 year olds can even help with weeding if you guide them on what to uproot and what to leave growing.
Children 3 to 5 years old
Your preschooler can help with a number of gardening chores. They are also more likely to follow rules than the toddlers. In addition, children in this age bracket learn things quite fast compared to those who are below 3 years.
Some of the gardening activities a child in this category can handle include planting, potting new plants, adding soil to containers, watering as well as weeding. To make the work even more fun and inculcate a sense of responsibility, assign one or two chores that the child must engage in alone with supervision from your end.
Children 5 to 10 years old
Kids in this age bracket are growing stronger and therefore can handle more gardening work than their younger counterparts. They can also follow instructions better. Therefore, some of the tasks these children can help with include planting seeds or seedlings, weeding, watering, fertilizing and harvesting.
Just like the other children, guide them first before allowing them into the garden. This reduces chances of making mistakes. Moreover, if they make mistakes, gently correct them. This will keep them interested in gardening.
Children 10 to 13 years old
Children in this age bracket are quite strong and can handle more work than those aged 5 to 10 years. Therefore besides activities such as planting, weeding, watering, fertilizing and harvesting, they can also help in mulching, raking, and creating compost.
These children are also likely to ask to handle more equipment. Before you allow use of any garden tools, consider their safety first. Some tools are better left for 13 to 18 year olds. Power tools and cutting tools must especially be avoided because of safety concerns.
Children 13 to 18 years old
The strength of the teens allow them to handle more tasks in the garden. They can also work with more equipment that you cannot allow those 10 to 13 years to handle. As a result, you can engage them with work such as planting, weeding, watering, fertilizing, fencing, pruning, and spraying.
Because of their age, you can allow them to start and maintain a garden by themselves with a little help from your side.
You do not need to handle all the work in your garden alone with kids around. There are chores any child can help with in the garden. What is important is to set aside age appropriate garden activities and allow your child to handle them.
In addition, gardening provides more opportunity to bond with your children. As they work in the garden, children also learn valuable life lessons. There are therefore many benefits when you work with your children in the garden.