(StatePoint) Spring is here and it’s time to think about your garden again. This year, as you cultivate your thriving plot, think about ways to get your whole family involved in gardening -- which makes for a great fresh air activity.
Not only is gardening a terrific way to spend time with your kids, but it also regularly gets them outside and away from their TVs and computers. Here are some tips to get your little couch potatoes growing potatoes instead:
Kids are never too young to learn how plants grow and where their food comes from. In fact, growing a garden is an ideal hands-on lesson in life science, ecology and nutrition, and is a lot more fun than simply hitting the books. However, some of the concepts of gardening may be difficult for younger kids to grasp. Fun age-appropriate learning activities and ideas can be found online, at such websites as MiracleGro.com/kids .
Giving your kids their very own gardening projects will help motivate them to cultivate their green thumbs.
A gardening set designed with kids in mind is a great way to get them started. For example, Miracle-Gro Kids offers a variety of flower and vegetable gardening sets that provide an optimal environment for growth, and an opportunity to watch plants progress both indoors and outdoors. Be sure to invest in age-appropriate tools for your children to use, so they can dig in the soil and water the plants right alongside you.
Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, literally. Once your plants are ready for harvest, work with your kids to find great-tasting recipes they will love, incorporating the foods grown by you. From vegetable pizza to salad to fruit smoothies, the nutritious meals you plan and make together will be extra satisfying when you know the ingredients came from your own backyard.
You’ve worked hard pruning, weeding and watering your plants, and now, you have a blooming garden to show for it. Don’t forget to teach your children the importance of appreciating the beauty of nature. Take a break to sit back, relax and enjoy your garden, as you contemplate what crops and flowers to include the following year.
Cultivating your garden and watching it grow need not be a solitary activity this spring. By getting your children involved in the process, you will teach them valuable skills they can use for the rest of their lives.