My boys are used to me dragging them away from their computers and out into the garden. And actually, my repeated attempts to get them gardening is helping them with their school studies and science projects.
Aged seven and ten, they are already studying plant biology at different levels, so not only are they curious about plant life cycles, their homework gets completed quicker, too.
So keep them busy over the Easter holidays and get them outside sowing and digging.
Learn through sowing
Older children are more dextrous, so less help is needed with sowing.
It’s still best to start with larger seeds that germinate quickly to keep their interest going. See p30 for advice on planting the gourd seeds shown here.
Record the life cycle of plants, pot sizes and how the seeds germinate.
Let the child be in charge and take responsibility for the plants, learning patience and gaining experience through successes and failures.
If you have the space in the garden, give them their own patch to plan out and help them learn the changes of the seasons and how plants perform through the year.
Learn through digging
How soil works, and what preparations and additions (organic matter etc) are needed ahead of planting are simple lessons to learn.
Explaining soil structure and chemical makeup is a great way to tie in with science lessons and homework.
If they aren’t into sport activities, gardening makes for great exercise.
Single and double digging are great ways for them to get fit and dirty! Use tools suitable for their heights. My boys are using Spear & Jackson traditional children’s digging forks and spades.
Start teaching them why certain plants prefer certain soils and situations and how plants can cope in these conditions.