Gardening with children can be a challenge, and I have to admit that with my 1 year old I try to avoid it at all costs. The constant ‘no dear, slugs aren’t food’ or ‘stop it sweetie the beans don’t like being jumped on’ can get a little tiring after a while. However, my five year old has recently developed a liking for the garden, and the allotment, which I am so happy about. (You may remember when I started the Garden Mama website, this definitely wasnt the case, read here to find out more!)
So here are a few reasons why it can be really fun to garden with a 5 year old around:
- They make you laugh.
Whether it’s funny comments about how yucky all your vegetables are or just the sight of them trying to use the hoe that’s twice their size! When my daughter is around I am always smiling, and so is everyone else near us -she tends to have that effect on people.
- You will have someone to talk to.
It might be just me but like to talk when I garden. Mostly complete nonsense, so having a 5 year old to chat with is quite handy as the level on conversation doesn’t need to be too intense. A nice easy conversation about whether it would be better if the world were made completely out of flowers or lady birds is just the ticket when you are concentrating on other things.
- You will try new things.
We have recently started searching for bunnies at the allotment in the evenings. On our first visit we saw two scurrying away rather guiltily from a plot near ours. Before taking her with me I would have thought they were nothing more than pests eating all the crops. To a five year old however, a wild bunny is one of the most exciting things they can think of, so now we will be eagerly awaiting their return -maybe I should plant some more lettuces?!
4.It’s good for them.
To be outside, in the fresh air, connecting with nature is so much better for children than being cooped up inside all day. They learn so much about the natural world and will soon be eager to learn more. I am amazed at how many flower names my daughter knows now, she has actually taught me a few (I think my mum can take the credit for that!)
- You get to spend time together.
Just you and them, which for us, isn’t something we get to do very often any more. This is a totally selfish one on my part but I love getting my daughter all to myself, even if it’s just for an hour. Anyone with more than one child will know that while we love all our kids the same, it can be nice to spend quality time with them each individually. Since Lily started school last September, it is something I have really missed. Going to the allotment together in the evenings has become our little bit of time together, and what better surrounding could we have?!
Even if you only go outside for 10 minutes, it is so worth it. More and more people are starting to recognise the benefits of being outside and interacting with nature, it is such a great opportunity to spend real quality time with your children.
I am trying to create a little garden for my daughter at the allotment to make it even more fun for her. Click Here to read my plans for that.