When starting a garden in a home, school, or community setting try to get the children who will be frequenting the garden involved in the process. Ask them what they would like to have in the space or what plants they would most like to grow. This will help get the children invested in the space from the beginning. Once the ground has been broken, remember to let these children have a significant role in creating the space. While, this may hinder the initial efficiency of building the garden, the children’s connection to the space will be well worth the few hours extra work.

Remember to incorporate nook type areas where children can find solace in nature. This could be in the form of a tee-pee covered in vines or a “house” made of small hedges. Any area that provides the child with a small area of privacy for reading, drawing or reflection will do wonders for helping the child have solo experiences with the natural world. Additionally, repeated time in “nearby nature” as author Gary Nabhan calls it  in The Geography of Childhood is what researchers have found makes the greatest long term impressions on children. I am sure you can think of natural places like the neighborhood creek or a favorite tree that you frequented as a child and hold fond memories. So get the kids you know out into the garden space as regularly as possible! Explore a great article on the idea of regular nature experience here.

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