Home visit: grow your own together

Nici, Ben and their two children working in the garden.

Home visit: grow your own together

If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space or an allotment, growing your own produce will help kids to learn lots of new skills, and lower your impact on the environment. Here’s how to get little ones involved…

Nici helps her son water plants with a spray bottle.

Embrace dirt

Kids learn through play. Being outside, they’re free to express themselves while also gaining new skills – from team work to responsibility. Starting to discover nature can be as simple as digging in the dirt. “The boys love to get dirty,” says Nici of sons Sonny (6) and Kit (3). “Outdoors, helping in the garden they can forget about keeping things clean and just get stuck in.”

Get everyone involved

There are jobs that even the smallest hands can help with when growing and gathering. Simple tasks like watering plants or collecting eggs in a basket will help to develop a sense of independence in young children.

A chicken coop made with wire fencing and corrugated iron set among the trees.
Red plastic gardening tools lying among plants in a garden herb patch.

Trial and error

Not everything you plant will come good, but when plants thrive it will give children a sense of pride and teach them about cause and effect. “By helping me to grow herbs and fruits the boys are finding out that things take time and need love – they don’t grow from a plastic tub at the supermarket,” says Nici.

Salad leaves and mint in a wooden bowl with red scissors.

Take the outdoors in

Once your produce is ready to pick, why not get the kids to choose what’s for dinner? It will engage their sense of smell and taste, as well as helping them begin to learn about nutrition. “Sometimes I get my boys to go out and pick me things for our summer salads, it’s good for them to see how it works,” says Nici.

Ben helps his son smell a flower in the garden.
A young child holds a chicken.

“We’re very truthful with the boys about where their food comes from. We teach them about how things grow and in return they tell us tips they’ve learned at school. It’s so cute!”

Nici

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