If you’ve got a yard, it’s a great place for your child to be in, especially when you’ve got chores to do outdoors. You can actually get your kid involved with you as early as when they’re two to three. Here are seven great tips for getting your kids involved in your yard.
According to The Montessori Notebook, a good thing to start off with is to think of what your child can do. What physically is feasible for them? It’s important to ask this question because it’ll guide you to what activities are possible for them to do in the yard. Think in terms of what they can do with their hands. You’d be surprised what simple activities are possible even for a tiny toddler.
If they can grasp, your toddler can collect twigs and pebbles. They can help carry lighter and safer tools, collect them in a spot or in a bucket. They can use a hose with a light sprinkler attachment to water some plants. They can even help in loosening the soil to aerate your plants.
Make It Fun
Whatever you do, bring in the fun. Physical activity in the yard can be fun for any child. Remember, a yard activity is something new and exciting. All you have to do is ride along with this adventure. Be your child’s guide to an exciting activity outdoors.There’s a lot of fun for a child in quiet and concentrated work. In fact, it’s the best kind of fun for any child when they are focused on an activity or a task. And to do all that outdoors is already such an adventure.
Just remember, follow your child’s interest in the yard. They’ll reveal to you what tasks to show them. And if they don't know, just lead the way and show them one thing they can do.
Give Them Responsibility
A child naturally loves responsibility. And it’s up to you to show them what they can do as their chosen contribution to the family. You just need to be his support and his guide as they work toward making their task his responsibility. Giving your child a responsibility starts with showing them what tasks are available. They need to know what the task is and how it benefits the family. It includes how long it takes and if he has a choice on a different task in the future.
They might choose to be in charge of something like watering the plants. Just let them know what the responsibility entails and make sure that they don’t water them at the wrong time for your plants. According to The Sprinkler Guy, it’s important to not turn sprinklers on until weather conditions normalize and you are no longer likely to see unexpected drops in temperature.
Giving them a task they like, providing what they need to carry it out, and showing appreciation encourages them to want to take part in the yard maintenance.
Keep It Simple
Any responsibility you introduce should always start out simple. Simplicity increases the chance it’ll be easily understood and easily done. You always want to start out where your child is. Younger children need simpler tasks. Whatever task you offer, lay out the objective clearly, lay out the options and, finally, show them what a completed task looks like.
Talk About It
When it comes to any responsibility, a child is more motivated to get to it when he knows what it’s all about, how it's done and why it’s important to him and to everyone. That means you’ve got to talk about it. Talking about it doesn’t have to be laborious. In fact, you’d want to keep it short. Complexity is best handled as a natural result of mastery from repetition and familiarity. Take the time to talk about the tasks with your child.
Set the Example
Make sure to show your child how it’s done. Go do the whole task in front of them every step of the way. There’s nothing like seeing how something is done when it comes to learning, especially for a child.
Once you’ve shown how the yard work is done, you need to see them do it, guiding them each step of the way. Doing the task with kids will actually build their confidence in themselves and in their connection towards you. After some repetitions, that’s when you can let go to allow them to do it all on their own. Even then, you’d want to check up on them once in a while. According to Healthy Families BC, that's how you set an example.
Reap the Rewards
Working in the yard with your kids has many layers of benefits for you and your family. Fostering family responsibility in your yard not only spruces up your outdoor space. It also builds the bond among members of your family while strengthening their practical life skills. It truly is worth everyone’s time.
Just because you have a yard that needs work doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself. Getting your kids to help you will not only help you to maintain your hard, but will help to build character in your children. Just follow the above tips to get started and you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable time taking care of your yard as a family.
Read more great tips for your family here!