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Getting children interested in gardening

Gardening provides different forms of engagement for children, including designing, planting, and maintaining gardens; harvesting, preparing, and sharing food; working cooperatively in groups; learning about science and nutrition; and creating art and stories inspired by gardens. If you are having a hard time engaging  your kids in gardening, attract them with creative activities,  colours and garden designs.  Their creativity is exposed when they’re allowed to do whatever they want to.
There are many things your children can help you in the garden  such as watering the plants, digging and preparing the soil with organic fertilizer, planting vegetables, fruits and flowers in the correct season, feeding the worms and using the ‘worm tea’ from the worm farm as fertilizer, weeding, composting, recycling and mulching, gathering seeds and dried flowers, deadheading flowers, replanting and re-potting.
Why not allow your kids to do some painting and discover how creative they are?  The learning benefits of this activity include: self-expression with paint, eye and hand coordination, fine motor development, experimenting and exploring with a new paint tool, sense of achievement and pride and colour recognition.

Pots colouring with Popsicle signs
Decorating a plant pot not only opens children's eyes to art and design in the garden, it teaches them about preparation and cleaning up too. Go potty!
Here’s what you will need: a small paintbrush, gloves, newspapers, a container with clean water and some coloured paints. 
 Heidi’s kids enjoyed helping her in the garden and painting their pots, taken at Reynella, South Australia.

Make a scarecrow
Making a garden scarecrow  is a great outdoor holiday activity for kids, whether teenagers or little ones.  They learn so much too, without realising it - planning skills, fine motor co-ordination, measurement, and loads of tactile stimulation with all the different textures of materials.  For younger kids, you will probably find that you need to lend a helping hand.
Stone Colouring
Children are fascinated by rocks and stones from a very young age. These nature ideas for gardening crafts for kids are fun and easy to do.
Boots and Mushroom Painting
Colorful, cute and practical! If you're looking for inspiring ideas to get your kids into the garden, make this your first project. Let them take ownership of their own edible shoe garden and add an attractive mushroom design in your garden. This is a fun way to recycle, add colour and a fun theme to the garden as well as maximise vertical space on a fence! Old plates and bowls are a great way to make a colorful mushroom crafts  where children can paint and develop their creativity.
Give your kids their own little garden space
The garden space does not have to be big. You can start with a large container or a few pots. By helping your kids make a small space in the yard specifically for them, you can keep them entertained, teach them responsibility, increase their confidence and keep your plants intact. This project is very simple and completely customizable to your budget and your space.
Fence Painting
Have the children colour a fence so they can unleash their creativity outdoors. Giving your children a specific task helps them feel competent and responsible.
Tyre Gardening and Painting
Plan and plant a kid-friendly garden this spring with your kids. Tyre planters are a great idea to put in the kids' "playground" so they can grow and tend their own flowers and veggies.
Bottle Garden Painting
This simple concept of growing plants in plastic bottles offers a variety of ways to enjoy gardening and produce plants in the most difficult circumstances.  Bottle Gardening teaches valuable lessons to kids, from being responsible to being environmentally conscious. Educating the children to reduce plastic waste and making something beneficial out of it helps promote a healthy environment. Painting onto plastic bottles adds colour to your backyard and kids will be inspired to do more and make recycled bottles useful.
Child safety in the garden

To make the garden safe for children:
  • Select the correct-sized tool.
  • Keep sprays and fertilisers out of reach and
  • Provide safe storage for equipment and tools.
  • Do not use chemicals. Garden organically whenever possible.
  • Secure fences and gates.
  • Provide shade in summer with umbrellas or shade cloth.
  • Make sure that where it’s appropriate, children wear a hat, sunscreen, suitable clothing and gumboots.
  • Do not leave buckets of water unattended around very young children and toddlers.
Gardening is educational and helps children develop new skills such as:
Responsibility – from caring for plants to harvesting.
Understanding – as they learn about cause and effect (for example, plants die without water, weeds compete with plants).
Self-confidence – from achieving their goals and enjoying the food they have grown. Children also develop a sense of responsibility and pride in themselves, which can ultimately improve self-esteem.
Love of nature – a chance to learn about the outdoor environment in a safe and pleasant place.
Reasoning and discovery – learning about the science of plants, animals, weather, the environment, nutrition and simple construction.
Physical activity – doing something fun and productive.
Cooperation – including shared play activity and teamwork.
Creativity – finding new and exciting ways to grow food.
Nutrition – learning about where fresh food comes from.

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