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Why we should get kids gardening

April 18th, 2018 | Posted by Jasmin Hayes in Bigjigs Toys | Gardening | Uncategorized

With Earth Day coming up on the 22nd April, we’re focusing on nature and how we can highlight the importance of taking care of our environment to kids; and what’s a better way to do that than getting them outside and hands-on with nature, in the garden!

Gardening is a fun activity that provides so many educational opportunities. Children will learn to take responsibility, learning how to take care of their seeds each day so that they become healthy flowers!

Gardening engages all of the senses; as children touch and feel the dirt, seeds and flowers, see the vibrant colours and different sizes. It encourages family bonding time, developing key social and vocabulary skills; and it’s the perfect chance for parents to highlight the importance of looking after our environment. Talking to kids about concepts such as pollution, plastic pollution and recycling.

We’ve found 4 of our favourite fast and easy to grow flowers, so you can get the kids outside and learning!

Fast & easy flowers to grow with kids

Sweet Peas

Easy to grow with the kids due to the large seeds, which are large enough for small hands to handle. Sweet Peas can grow up to 8 feet tall and come in all sorts of colours, including red, lilac, white pink and blue. All of which are sure to get the senses tingly!

Good to know: sweet peas like a sunny home (can deal with light shade) in the garden in fertile, well-drained soil.

Sunflowers

The seeds are large enough for small hands to handle. Sunflowers are fast-growing which is sure to please your little one! They can take as little as 120 days to reach full maturation (when they produce seeds) and can grow several feet tall!

Good to know: we suggest planting sunflowers in early spring so they have enough time to grow to full height during the summer, and they love to grow in a sunny spot with lots of direct sunlight!

When growing your sunflowers, why not add a little more fun by seeing who can grow the tallest. Children will feel super-proud as they watch theirs grow, and maybe even grow the tallest!

Marigolds

Easy to grow bedding plants, the seeds are easy to handle for small hands. Marigolds come in rich bright colours and grow quickly so children won’t have to wait long for the colourful flowers to appear! Planting a few flowers can produce hundreds of blooms.

Good to know: sow marigolds from March to May and they will flower from summer to autumn. They like to grow in well-drained soil in full sun.

Pansies

With their cheery ‘faces’ and wide array of colours, Pansies are certainly kid-pleasers! They’ll have a great time picking and choosing which colours will best fit into the garden. Pansies are easy to grow and take as little as 15 weeks to bloom!

Good to know: you can sow the seeds in early October for the plants to flower in the spring, but when buying seeds, check the packet for details of other times of the year you can sow the seeds. Pansies like to grow in a well-drained, moist soil in full sun or partly in the shade.

Why flowers are important

Flowers are a great way to attract beneficial insect pollinators to your garden. Some of the most important pollinators that are attracted by flowers include bees, wasps, ants and butterflies.

But in recent years, the number of bees, and other pollinators, has dropped massively. This means that planting flowers is very important, and something we should make children aware of. Knowing they could save the bees may encourage them even more so to head out into the garden!

When it comes to teaching children about gardening and discussing the importance of looking after our environment, always keep it light-hearted and avoid killing the magic of nature by being too factual. To help, we’ve put together a fact sheet that includes some fun facts your children will love!

Happy planting!

Have you managed to get out into the garden yet this year? Share your flower and gardening pictures with us on social media.

 

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