How to raise mini green thumbs How to raise mini green thumbs

How to raise mini green thumbs

From getting them away from their screens to teaching them valuable lessons about the world around them, there are so many reasons to get your kids into gardening. Here are just a few ways to get started...

Fresh air? Tick. Sunshine and vitamin D? Tick. Wholesome fun that rewards you with vegetables, flowers and learning? Triple tick. Gardening is about more than just planting seedlings and small plants into dirt - it also offers lessons in responsibility, understanding and creativity.

So, where to begin? You don’t need a big area to create a garden for your children. The first step is to decide what kind of garden you want to create.

Vegetable gardens

A backyard veggie patch will reward your family with fresh produce, but it's also a brilliant learning tool. Veggie gardens help your kids understand where their food comes from - and the best part is choosing what to grow. 

It's a good idea to base your selection on your children’s food preferences. If they love salad, lettuce is an easy beginner option. So too are tomatoes, as long as you have somewhere for the tomato vine to climb.

Herbs are easy-care options too, especially basil and parsley. Strawberries, though fruits, are another brilliant addition to any veggie patch – your kids will love watching the flowers turn into fruit, then change from green to red until they're ready to eat.

Of course, vegetable gardens take commitment. It will need constant watering, pest control and care, so take that into consideration before you jump in.

Fairy gardens

What child doesn’t love the magic of a fairy garden, even a little bit? What grown up, for that matter?! Fairy gardens require very little maintenance (the fairies will do all the work 😉), and there are so many cute ornaments available in toy stores, garden centres and nurseries to help bring your fairy garden to life.

Your fairy garden can be as large or as small as you like - it could even be made in an indoor pot plant. Take your kids to a nursery and let them wander the grounds, seeking out the plants that catch their eyes. As with most kinds of nature play, it's a good idea to be guided by them - this is how you'll both get the most out of it.

If they fall in love with a bright green fern, go with that; make an indoor fairy garden in the pot around your fern. If they are attracted to the scent of a lavender plant, create your fairy garden outside in a full sun position. Creativity is key when it comes to making fairy gardens.

General gardening

Perhaps you already have a garden, but you'd like your kids to be more involved in its maintenance? Giving your children age-appropriate jobs around the yard to help keep the family gardens flourishing can also be rewarding. Older kids can assist with mulching, weeding and watering. With supervision, younger children could collect cut flowers and interesting foliage that you can then put into vases in your home.

However you approach it, time spent together, in the great outdoors, will always be time well spent.