How gardening helps kids take a break from screens in exchange for sunshine

LONDON, ONT. – Are you looking for a safe and family friendly hobby during the lockdown? Why not develop a love for gardening?

The activity can be a fun and safe way for kids to take a break from the screens for some sunshine, and if you don’t have a garden there are some great indoor planting ideas out there.

“It’s great for a child to learn gardening at a young age and there are so many different avenues to take and enjoy with their family,” said Lynne Kring, general manager of the Parkway Garden Center in London.

The pandemic has restricted many outdoor activities for teens who are spending more time on distance learning on screens.

Kring says gardening is a great way for kids to keep them occupied and keep their spirits up during lockdown.

“We really encourage young families to involve their children in gardening like vegetables. It’s great to grow vegetables and see where your food comes from because a lot of kids don’t know. “

London-based Nubbia, mother of four-year-old Damian, has encouraged her son to join her during garden time.

“You take care of them, water them, it brings peace into the house … and my son, he sees them every day and he wants to join in too. We have a mug at home where it goes around and helps. “

Damian recently received a new set of garden tools from his mother to pull the weeds out of the garden.

“It’s a visual thing, he learns and asks questions, which is great … I think it’s important to get kids involved, especially as they get older, and how important it is to eventually grow and take care of your own things “Said Nubbia.

Kring says that not many children understand where their food comes from in the first place, and when they realize they can make their own products it creates a sense of accomplishment and pride.

“It’s a down-to-earth activity that families can enjoy, lots of families take part in it. The kids really enjoy saying, ‘Oh, I grew this tomato’ or ‘This pumpkin is mine’. “

While nurseries are open with restrictions, not every family has access to a garden, especially if they live in a condo or apartment complex.

Kring says there’s nothing to worry about, families can grow gardens inside by the window or outside on their balcony.

“Indoor plants, a lot of kids like carnivorous plants and even air plants – you can do a variety of things with air plants. You can stick them on magnets, they don’t need soil and it’s always fun to watch them grow. “

Kring says many children are attracted to plant names, especially when they are “funny”.

“Some of the plants have really funny names, like turtle vine, waffle plant, rabbit fern, pancake plant. They enjoy starting with a small plant, and success lets them try other things. “

Another great option is herbs. Depending on the incidence of light, children can plant a herb garden with plants such as parsley, mint or dill on the balcony or inside by the window.

According to Kring, parents should visit a local garden center to ask which plants are suitable for their household, depending on the age of the children and the luminous flux in their home.

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