Generation Gardening – Include the Children

By GardenUp Green

As a once stay at home mom I’m here to tell you there is no greater responsibility than raising the next generation. Twenty years ago I put aside my career, wants and dreams to love teach and encourage not only my children but the others that entered our home during the process. I witnessed a lot during that time and find myself reflecting on those memories as our home is almost an empty nest. Parenting is the most difficult job and nobody can really prepare you, it’s like the roller coaster ride of your life and yes it’s worth every moment.

How can we make a difference in the lives of our children, to build them up and teach them skills that will last a lifetime? It’s a very simple answer; we can spend time and incorporate your children, grandchildren, or neighborhood children in simple projects around the home and garden. This is what my grandma did with me for the majority of my childhood and youth; I’m forever thankful.

Both of my parents were self employed so grandma’s house was my other home, she filled a void when my parents were working. I’m grateful she was available; these memories are a part of what made me the person I am today.

My stay was never about watching cartoons or playing video games, we went outdoors where she taught me how to garden and maintain a backyard. On rainy days she showed me how to establish a home through cooking, decorating and cleaning. The lessons I learned go beyond teaching; she saw something in me that I didn’t even know existed probably because I was just a child. When generations come together great things can happen and a better future can transpire.

Gardening is a great way to teach children a necessary life skill. Growing food from seed by adding in a fun structure like this tee pee will leave behind memories for all involved. Harvesting time will include a fun afternoon the kids will remember as time moves on. To make a tee pee, use bamboo or wood from the garden or hardware store to create this project. Long pieces of rebar would also work, they’re easy to push in to the ground for stability because children love to grab and pull at just about everything.

Some children have a short attention span especially if they’re younger. You can work with that by establishing a small area for them to regroup. I love this little sand box station, add in an umbrella for shade and let the fun begin. Sand boxes help relax and offer an excellent avenue for sensory play time. To keep fire ants away add a cover and spray the base with either molasses mixture or peppermint oil diluted with warm water. It’s always better to stay away from harsh chemicals to fight bugs and remember you’ll have to reapply after rainfall.

Gardening with children will involve patience; make sure you begin these projects early in the day when you’re energized and everyone is alert. This time will be spent instilling values, teaching and having fun. You’re mentoring the future a very old fashioned skill that I can only hope others of all generations will rediscover. I’ve never regretted choosing to be a stay at home mom, time did travel like a roller coaster and the lessons we all learned together have been life changing. Never forget the importance of setting a positive example, because the next generation is definitely paying attention.

garden-up-greenCarole West is the founder and writer of GardenUp Green. She’s been gardening since she was a small child, learning from her Italian grandmother. Carole shares her all natural gardening techniques and projects on GardenUp Green so that readers can learn, discover, and be inspired. Carole has been putting together patio gardens and backyard escapes and has even ventured into small scale farming. Her greatest reward comes from her family. Their love and understanding has helped her build an amazing and creative life! Check out GardenUp Green on Facebook, Hometalk, and Pinterest.

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