This is a featured guest post from Sainsbury’s Finance Money Matters Blog
With the summer holidays coming up, you’ll be busy thinking of a hundred million different activities to keep them entertained and active.
May we suggest taking advantage of the warmer weather and longer days by getting into the back garden? It’s a great way to spend quality time together, educate the kids about plant life, and get your garden looking great in time for those summer barbecues!
How do you get the kids involved?
One of the best ways to get the kids interested in gardening is to get them involved at every stage of the process. Start by asking them what they’d like to grow. They may be keen to plant bright flowers, or they might be intrigued by the idea of growing their own fruits or vegetables.
Take a trip to the garden centre and let them select the flowers, fruit or veggies they find most fascinating. Buy a book on garden flowers and plants and get them to search for their favourites when they get there.
Giving your kids some ownership over the garden will help keep them interested. Whether it’s allowing them to plant and care for their own section, or setting up a schedule for weeding and watering, make sure they know that it’s a family effort.
The age of your children will affect how involved they’re able to get. Younger children can help with small jobs like watering plants, while older children can to learn how to plant seeds, harvest vegetables and pull up weeds.
Where should you start?
Before you do anything, take a look at the current state of your garden and assess how much work needs to be done. You probably won’t need to start from scratch; a few bright plants and a bit of TLC will get it looking great in no time.
Use this fresh start as an opportunity to create special areas of the garden just for the kids. Add a playhouse or sand pit for the younger ones, and suggest that your older kids create their very own vegetable patch. Talk through the options, and sketch out some basic ‘blueprints’ before you get to work – this is a great activity for the kids.
What will you need to buy – and how much will it cost?
If you don’t already have gardening tools, you’ll need to buy some. Trowels, spades and watering cans will all come in handy, and you should have no trouble finding versions designed for smaller hands.
Larger pieces of equipment such as lawnmowers, garden furniture and children’s toys are more costly. If you do invest money in these, it’s a good idea to check if they’re covered by your home insurance in case of damage or theft.
You’ll also need to invest in the plants and seeds themselves. The cost of these can vary hugely, and it’s worth shopping around and looking for deals. You might find that it’s best to experiment with cheaper varieties of plants, especially if this is your kids’ first time gardening.
What are the easiest plants to grow?
The BBC recommends the following plants as being especially good for young gardeners:
These plants are all hard-wearing, and tend to grow successfully in most gardens. As the plants begin to grow, you can watch your kids grow from the experience. Working as a family, you’ll create a beautiful garden as well as plenty fruitful memories from your summer spent outdoors.
This is a guest post, written on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. All opinions given in this post belong to its author, and not to Sainsbury’s Bank. Though tips and information are offered in the post, it does not constitute advice and shouldn’t be considered as so. This post should not be used as a basis for any decisions, financial or otherwise. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the views of external contributors, or for any of the external websites linked to in this post. The information in this post was correct at the time of publication.