Unfortunately, obesity is becoming incredibly common for children in the USA. If you were to talk to young children and ask them about food, they would likely tell you it either comes from the fridge or the store. Let’s face it, most children don’t know about fresh food, gardening and things like that. 1 in 3 families in the USA have a garden or grow food, and this number is only growing. In an effort to educate them and teach them about healthier food options, why not start an edible garden?
In addition to introducing them to more healthy food options, having a garden with your preschool age children can go a long way in teaching them about responsibility. Growing and maintaining a garden isn’t always easy, but gives people a sense of pride and accomplishment when it’s finished. As you can see, there are many benefits to starting an edible garden with your children (or your students if you’re a teacher).
With that in mind, this article will look at a few tips for creating your edible garden with your children, and ensuring it will be a success.
Plant Things They Like
First of all, if you want children to be engaged and passionate about the garden, be sure to plant things they enjoy eating. If they love carrots, peas and potatoes, don’t plant tomatoes, lettuce and rhubarb only. Of course, you can plant things in addition to what they like, but having their favorites will keep them interested. If they are not into anything you’re planting, they likely won’t stick it out for the whole project.
Thankfully, being able to find and purchase whatever they like is easier than ever. There are online retailers (such as Myseedneeds.com), which have a large selection of options. Also, if they are growing things that they like, there is a much better chance that they are having fun. Of course, helping your children have fun should always be your goal as a parent or guardian. If they don’t like any veggies, them participating in growing them could change that very quickly.
Be Patient With Them
Of course, these children you’ll be working with are still children, so be patient. They may go through a lot of confusion, have a lot of questions and mess up a few times before they find success. If you guide them and educate them along the way, instead of rushing them through the gardening steps, your results will be much more fruitful.
This patience they see exhibited and learn in this process can also carry over to other parts of their lives. If they are patient enough to grow a couple of plants over a few months, they already have a much higher capacity for patience than most children their age.
Involve Them in the Entire Process
If you want your preschool edible garden to be a success in every sense of the word, involve the children in every part of the gardening process. Planting the seeds, watering them, harvesting them and anything else you need to do. This will not only teach them about the various stages of the life cycle of what they planted but will help them be prideful. If they only participate in the planting or harvesting, they will not be as invested in the garden.
While this may not be easy, and children may not want to see the project through, the least you can do is try. Each step of the process can teach children a different life lesson that they can take beyond this garden.
In conclusion, hopefully, this blog post has helped you be able to grow preschool edible gardens. It’s not always easy, but it can be a great tool to teach children about responsibility and also about the merits of healthy and natural food.