Gardening and yard work are great ways to teach your kids about growth, life and responsibility, and it also gives you a chance to spend some quality time together.
“There are lots of benefits to including your kids in gardening projects,” Bailey Carson, a home expert from Angi, said. “First, it’s a great opportunity for them to get their hands dirty and to learn about how things grow and the earth. And of course, they’ll really enjoy seeing their hard work pay off as the plants grow.”
For young kids, and up to second or third grade, try teaching them the basics of gardening. Help them water or repot plants, let them dig holes with plastic shovels, or give them simple responsibilities with window gardens. As they learn, you can add more responsibilities like planting seeds or clearing sticks and debris from an outdoor garden.
“Once your children are a little older, let’s say third grade and up, they can also be really helpful in the whole gardening process,” Carson said. “Everything from picking out and planting the seeds, to regularly watering them, thinking about picking some flowers to bring inside for an indoor arrangement, and then come fall, they’ll be really great in helping to rake and bag leaves.”
Middle school is a great time to start introducing low-risk tools, like rakes and pruning shears. Kids can also take on more regular responsibilities that can also be fun, like designing and layout out stone paths, adding compost soil, hoeing and weeding gardens, or pruning plants of dead leaves.
“Once your teens are high-school age, then you can consider using this as a bonding time as well as a way to get some help with those more labor-intensive tasks,” Carson said. “Teach them how to safely use a lawnmower, a weed trimmer or even hedge shears. Encourage them to really take ownership of the process and feel proud of the work they’re doing. Re-edging, lawn mowing, and weeding are great tasks for teens who are a little bit older.”
Keep in mind there are some lawn tasks better left to the pros. Grading or re-sloping your lawn, installing sprinkler systems, and cutting down or removing trees or dead branches are some of the tasks that require the expertise and tools of a seasoned pro.