Good things can grow in home gardens. Bright and beautiful flowers, healthy nutritious food, caterpillars transforming into butterflies – Gardens are remarkable spaces for families to spend time together. So how do you inspire your keiki to help you tend to your home garden? Here are a few tips that help spark that interest at an early age.
Grow some responsibility. Allow your keiki to take ownership of a specific plant, garden bed, or even decorating the space. Doing so will teach lessons of responsibility and encourage them to look forward to checking on their progress, tending to their garden, and giving the ‘aina the love and care it deserves.
Good-sized tools. As adorable as it is to see your keiki in oversized garden gloves and holding a rake three times their height, it is always so special for young ones to have snug gloves and appropriate-sized tools to feel comfortable helping with the actual garden tasks for the day.
Plant some good. The more complicated a plant’s care routine is, the quicker your keiki will lose interest. Do your research on what plants are appropriate for your garden space per the season, and make sure you know which ones are toxic if your keiki likes to taste-test anything they can get their hands on. Most young ones respond better to plants that grow quickly. So choose plants that germinate within a few days, and they will be surprised and excited to see the quick progress.
Manage expectations. You want your keiki to have fun with this home garden, so start small! Instead of choosing complex garden projects by yourself, ask your keiki about the projects that interest them. Every task might not be their favorite step in the process, but keep encouraging them, ask them questions, and show them how important it is to try growing some good in the home garden.
We hope these tips inspire you to invite your keiki to your home garden, where plants will not be the only thing growing but also long-lasting family memories.
Grow Some Good is a nonprofit organization that cultivates a healthy community by strengthening local agriculture and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. Learn more at growsomegood.org.