Arjun (My son) is an inquisitive child. He always wants to know the why’s of each & every thing. From the day, he started speaking, his questions always surprised me. This generation kids are very smart & very observing. Much beyond our imagination.
The most important thing for an inquisitive child is exposure & inputs from all fields.A kid will ask, what he observed. So if they see you giving water to plants, they will observe & ask questions related to it. Its like a chain, for your every answer,they will have a new question. In this way their horizon of knowledge develops.
I’m not saying gardening is the only activity you should introduce to your child but it can be one of the best activity for your children. They will not only get knowledge but it will teach them a lot more. They will learn patience, taking ownership of things, be responsible.
I had introduced gardening to Arjun when he was only 3 years old. Every year we visited Arjun’s grand parent’s house. We have a farm over there. Because of that farm, Arjun could see how vegetables grow, where did he get rice from, how fruits grow. So he got an over view of the subject quite early. He started asking me more specific questions. One day he asked me why these potatoes & carrots are growing under the soil. Why leaves are green in colour? He was just 3 year old then.
The farm visit was more like a few days picnic for us. I wanted to give him more exposure. We started growing small plants at home, I bought few plants from nursery & told him to plant it in another pot. We bought few kids gardening tools for him. He started enjoying spending time with plants. I had observed a parenting instinct in him so early. He started caring for his plants, like we care for our children.
He get that connect with plants now which make him observe, feel & enjoy the whole process. I have given him the ownership. It is his responsibility now to take care of the plants that he grew. So every morning he observes the plant, give water to it. We grew few vegetables also & he helped me in all stages. From sowing of seeds to harvesting.
He is now 5 years old & we share a different kind of bond together. We can enjoy an activity together. We taught him a lot about life’s important things just by relating it to plants. Like “If you don’t care what you have, you will lose it one day” Best explained through plants, if you don’t care , don’t water your plants daily, plants will die.
Altogether what i feel is just let your kids explore. There is nothing as magical as seeing a life growing in front of your eyes. Just imagine the lifestyle of this generation kids , they have limited space, limited time, always distracted by so many gadgets. They don’t know what is the pleasure of playing in soil, get hands & clothes dirty. They have no connect with the soil & how will they have, they are always so distracted.
Initially, may be they will not show interest. Half of the kids don’t want to even touch the soil,they feel their hands will get dirty. But once they start enjoying, there is no end.
Let your child give a way out from their gadget world to spend few minutes with their best friends for life.
“Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can have them plant a garden”- Robert Brault