Minnesota has a garden and landscape culture unparalleled in most other states, here are 4 reasons to get your children involved!
1. A garden encourages you to spend time together outside
Life is hectic! Between sports practice and their ever growing social life, finding quality time with your kids is an ongoing struggle. Having a garden outside can be a simple way to connect with your children. Gardening is a rather arbitrary task that allows for you to engage in conversation while being outside and in nature. Leave the phone inside and take this time to have meaningful conversation with your child!
2. Grow vegetables that your child wants to eat
Nothing is more difficult than getting a picky eater to eat healthy food. Children are far more likely to be receptive to new or weird foods if they had a hand in the production itself. Perhaps bring your child to the store and let them have a say in what vegetables are grown! Everyone likes to be in charge of something, consider have your child take care of their own section of the garden. This will ensure your kids are glowing with anticipation for harvest time.
3. Teach your children valuable work ethics
Children, even as young as 3 or 4, can participate in tasks around the garden. From an early age a child's understanding of work gets formed. Children want to contribute and do things that make them feel valuable. Chores plant the idea that service is expected in the family. Giving a child a task such as "picking tomatoes" can be a win/win for children and parents. The child gets to be outside learning about plants as well as snack on tomatoes, all while the parents are instilling positive work ethics.
4. A garden is an outdoor classroom
One of the best teaching styles is the "hands on approach". One proven approach is to learn unique and fascinating facts about the garden and how food grows. This will get your child interested, and their inquisitive nature will do the rest. Soon enough you wont be able to stop the "Mom, why do_____?" questions. From the importance of earthworms to how to grow green beans, you could be planting the seeds for a lifetime love for biology and nature.