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How to get your kids into gardening

How to get your kids into gardening

“Getting kids in the garden has proven positive effects on their health and wellbeing.”
— Angie Thomas

In today's age of digital dependence, it's not easy getting kids off the iPad or away from the TV and out into the great outdoors.

If you're looking for a way to get your kids outside and in touch with nature, encouraging them to grow their own food is a great place to start.

Angie Thomas, Horticulture Consultant to Yates, says experience and motherhood has taught her that nothing encourages kids to take up a healthy hobby more than making it a fun activity to share with their friends and family."In addition to being good fun, there's a bunch of reasons to get kids in the garden including physical activity, fresh air, and even mindfulness. Getting their hands dirty in the garden has been scientifically proven to increase serotonin levels through contact with soil and specific soil bacteria," says Angie.Here, Angie shares some easy ways to encourage your kids to get in the garden, growing their own veggies and (hopefully) eating them too!

EASY FRUIT AND VEGGIES FOR KIDS TO GROW

Getting kids into the garden is easier when they can take control. Some kid friendly fruit and veggies include cherry tomatoes, capsicum, loose leaf lettuces, beans, strawberries, blueberries, baby carrots and cucumbers. Come autumn, kids can try planting veggies like snow peas and baby leaf spinach.

HOW TO ENCOURAGE KIDS TO GROW THEIR OWN VEGGIES

Involve kids in the decision-making process by asking them what they would like to grow or even take them on a trip to Bunnings or your local garden centre so they can help you choose seeds and plants. Ensure they are involved in the sowing and planting process in addition to caring for the plants as they grow. Let kids pick the veggies and fruit themselves, even if the harvest doesn't make it back into the house - a home grown garden snack can be more fun!

GROWING TIPS FOR KIDS

Plants and veggies need regular watering and is an easy task for kids. Appoint your little one as the "Chief of Watering" by purchasing a small and colourful watering can from your local hardware store. Grow the veggies or fruit in its preferred spot either in full sun or part shade and ensure there is regular feeding to encourage healthy plant growth.

BENEFITS OF GETTING KIDS IN THE GARDEN

There's a bunch of reasons to get kids in the garden including physical activity, fresh air, and even mindfulness. Getting their hands dirty in the garden has been scientifically proven to increase serotonin levels through contact with soil and specific soil bacteria. Serotonin is a happy chemical that helps fight depression and improves immune systems. If children don't get the opportunity to play in the dirt, it's thought to contribute to an increased risk of allergies, asthma and mental illness.

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