When it comes to the perfect activity for kids, gardening really ticks all the boxes… you’re outdoors, being active, digging in the dirt, using a watering can, watching things grow and potentially getting a meal out of it!
With school holidays just around the corner there’s a great opportunity to nurture a love of gardening in your kids and create some little green fingers! This may sound hard but not if you speak to Helen Tyas Tunggal of KidsGrow, a Nursery & Garden Industry Australia initiative encouraging schools to get kids gardening.
Helen, who will be running a number of KidsGrow workshops at the Queensland Garden Expo from 6-8 July, says putting kids in charge not only gives them a great sense of achievement but also provides them with an opportunity to learn about the environment and develop new skills.
“Kids get a real kick out of making things grow and if you throw in ideas like creating a themed garden or a munch and crunch garden to grow food, it really ignites their imagination,” said Helen who has been helping schools implement the KidsGrow toolkit of resources for the past few years.
“It gives kids the opportunity to achieve tangible learning outcomes while making a real contribution to caring for the world they live in. They can learn lifelong skills as they are designing, planting and nurturing their very own gardens at school or at home and it gives parents a great opportunity to connect with their kids.”
KidsGrow was specially created for the NGIA by a team of teachers who developed the practical toolkit of resources and a 10-step process that links gardening to the school curriculum. It includes tips on successfully creating themed gardens, safety in the garden and sustainable gardening practices.
Marion Beazley, Queensland Garden Expo Event Manager says kids’ activities are always a major drawcard at the three-day event and this year’s program includes a number of workshops especially for aspiring young gardeners.
“Other than the KidsGrow workshops kids can learn how to attract wildlife to their garden, enjoy the free playground with a giant slide, air castle and merry-go-round and enjoy great entertainment such as stilt walkers, musicians and street performers which all add to the festival atmosphere,” said Marion.
“The Expo is a fantastic family day out and our focus on getting the kids involved has always been a priority. If we can help parents instil a passion for growing things in their little ones, we can nurture the gardeners of the next generation.”
The Queensland Garden Expo is a three-day celebration of all things gardening, featuring the largest range of plants in one place, nearly 55 nurseries with over 40,000 plants on sale every day as well as a huge range of gardening products.
For more information on what’s on at this year’s Queensland Garden Expo, please visit www.qldgardenexpo.com.au.
Five simple tips to get kids involved in the garden
- Ignite kids’ imagination with a fun theme – fairy garden, pizza garden, habitat haven.
- Give kids ownership of their garden by involving them in the decision making.
- Start small and keep it manageable – then once established add some more.
- Ensure success, by helping kids choose an appropriate site – e.g. vegies need at least 6 hours sunshine a day.
- Use interesting containers such as boots and buckets – always ensuring adequate drainage.