Friday, June 6, 2014

Keeping Kids Busy in the Garden With You

Bubbles in a clear container, adjacent to chalk mess
It can be frustrating to get your kids outside and then have them be completely incapable of or interested in actually doing anything helpful in the garden. They often seem to have a "weeding is for chumps" attitude; while happy to water, they don't know when to say when and drown plants very quickly; when helping to sow, they scatter the seeds either a) all over creation, or b) in a tight little corner. The only thing they'll do for hours on end - more or less correctly - is pick berries. This leads to eating berries for hours on end, so if you're cool with eating unwashed fruit, it's great.

Coffee, anyone?
Now that my kindergartener is older, he is both more interested and more capable of helping, at least for short bursts. But I still have the 3 year old to manage. What works well for her are bubbles - decanted into a clear container, not in the original bottle where she can't see how much liquid is left, because she will dump it out.

We also have not one but two crummy plastic play kitchens and lots of extra tubs for cooking muddy coffee and desserts. (Not even during pretend play will she eat anything healthy.) She'll putter around with those for at least a half-hour. This usually ends up requiring a hose-down before coming inside, which is okay with me.

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Thanks for your comment on kids and/or gardening and/or the optimistic delusion of mixing them!