There is nothing better as an adult than to see the joy, excitement and wonder a child has whilst they explore nature and see what the living world creates – along with a bit of help from their own hands.
Creating a garden specifically to introduce you children to the role of farming in everyday life will ensure your child will be more likely to taste, smell and enjoy fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying what nature can offer.
With some simple planning and design techniques you can create fantastic interactive spaces that adults will enjoy as much as kids.
Location, location, location:
Make sure you locate the garden in a sunny spot, close to your house or the centre of activity. Kids want to be right in the thick of it and you want to be able to keep an eye on them without having to hover over them. Also think about having your water source close by and a spot for them to keep their garden tools they can easily access.
Sketch out your planned design on some grid paper to get an idea of how it works in your space and flows. It does not need to be a masterpiece but this is an invaluable visual aid when building the space, get the kids to colour it in, they can be part of every step. Mark it out the ground using chalk paint so you can visualise the yard.
Make kids garden beds narrow so they can reach the centre and spaced far enough apart so they can walk around all sides. Consider using raised beds so they can stand at them to work and see what is happening both at plant and soil level. Raised beds not only perform better but also:
- Stop little feet trampling the gardens
- Reduce weed and grass invasion
- Easy access for little hands
Plant seasonal gardens with children so they learn about the different seasons and the need to harvest and plant at specific times thus bringing an educational and historical context to the garden. Use plants that create smells, colours and different textures so children understand the differences and learn about plant types.
Lastly ……. have fun, make mistakes, get dirty and let children get creative and run a bit wild with it all and enjoy what was once an integral part of life and living and you will teach your children how food really is grown.