Gardeners are keen on offspring in the garden when they come from their own propagation. That may not always be the case with grandchildren except in controlled circumstance.
Grandma saw a youngster eating a slug and rather than be critical asked ‘what does that taste like?’ After a pause the kid replied ‘worms’.
Safety of Children in the Garden
- You can be too prescriptive about musts and don’ts. Commonsense is crucial and grandparents can help teach that to the kids.
- Garden tools can be very sharp and need to be used correctly, carefully and kept under your supervision.
- I am prone to leaving items in the garden to trip over and rakes can jump up and hit the unsuspecting. Now grandkids are visiting I am tidying up before after and during the visits.
- Learning by experience will cover stinging nettles, irritating sap, prickly roses and some other plants to avoid. A warning or two (hundred that is) will still fall on deaf ears – I still get stung and pricked!
- Not everything belongs in a child’s mouth but most plant matter will not cause too much harm. However look out for poisonous seeds, Laburnum, Monkshood and anything you grow that you know to avoid eating.
- Water is seductive and ponds dangerous. I know you will put up protection near open water and remember water and electric tools don’t mix
Keeping Grandchildren Amused
- If you get rostered into child minding on a regular basis it is worth setting up regular garden related tasks the kids can get involved with.
- Get them kitted out with waterproof clothes.
- Don’t push too hard it may put off the next generation of Throwers and Titchmarshes. We may find routine gardening fun but kids may need a bit extra and activity changes every 20 minutes or so.
- Gardening has lessons for all of us and the kids have a lot to learn from you and your garden or open air classroom.
- There are lots of lists of easy to grow plants from large easy to handle seeds like sunflowers, Peas and beans but they take ages (eons in kid time) to show life much less crop. The old standby mustard and cress are more reliable.
- Plant pots, containers, baskets and boxes are all small areas where kids can have there own ‘patch’ so to speak.