There are few activities as rewarding as cultivating a garden — by sowing a few seeds in the spring you can be harvesting armfuls of fruits and vegetables in the summer. There are a number of benefits to taking on this activity as a family, including saving money on groceries and having fresh and healthy produce to eat. But perhaps the greatest benefit is giving your child invaluable insight into the natural world around them.
By making this a family activity, you’ll be sharing an important experience in the life of your young child. Kids learn about the natural world in school, but there’s nothing like the sense of wonder and accomplishment a child has when the effort they put forth with their own two hands has a tangible and tasty outcome that they can monitor as the weeks go by.
If you’re wondering where to begin, consider planting fruits or vegetables that your child enjoys eating and that are relatively easy to grow. Plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans and squash can be easy to cultivate. Though these types of vegetables aren’t always the favored fare of children, one or two of them might be suitable. There are surely plenty of other crops that will grow well in your area, and if you can identify one that your child enjoys, it will make for a great experience.
Another idea is to select a fruit tree at a nursery and plant it when your child is young. Then your child can watch it grow as he or she grows, and within a few years, it should be producing a significant amount of fruit. Since youngsters often prefer fruit over vegetables, this is likely a winning strategy. The fruit will be delicious fresh or made into jams or pies.
No matter what you choose to grow, undertaking a family gardening project is sure to be an inexpensive and rewarding experience — one that will cultivate an appreciation of nature in your child.
Annie Idea is a freelance writer focused on how to live large on a little living. She writes financial savings tips for QuickQuid short term loans, and enjoys taking any idea and making it easier or cheaper to complete.