Children's Allotment

Children's Allotment

As the UK are becoming more health conscious as well as being environmentally healthy; not to mention the rising costs of food we are seeing younger adults and families taking to the growing your own concept.

Parents love to find creative ways to get children enjoying the outdoors, away from their screens and embracing nature - What better way than to involve them in growing their own food - which in turn will more than likely help encourage them to 'eat their greens'!

Obviously, safety & site rules are paramount and here are some things to consider before letting children loose at your allotment site:

  • Watering tanks/ponds/open water should be covered when not in use and children should be warned to keep away and watched at all times.
  • Children should only be using blunt 'child-friendly' tools and shown how to use them properly.
  • Keep a first aid kit in your shed.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and let them get muddy!
  • Being aware of what's growing around them; which is edible and which isn't as well as stinging nettles and prickly brambles.
  • Teach them 'plot etiquette' and don't allow them on to others' plots or take crops from other plots.
  • Go prepared with refreshments and for toilet requirements and things to do on 'break times' such as a book or maybe you might even like to create an outdoor play area.
  • Give them their own growing area for a sense of responsibility and ownership. See them beam with pride when they have success!
  • Bear in mind some fast growing crops to keep their interest levels up.

The main starting point is to point out obvious dangers and consider age appropriate activities. Don't lose heart if children lose interest, keep things varied and don't try and force it. Patience is key -  You won't always get done what you planned every time. Younger children will more than likely take to it more easily but will require closer supervision.  Teens may not want to get dirty and would rather sit in the car on TikTok but don't let it all frustrate you!

They may want to incorporate their progress into a school project, for 'show and tell' or a personal diary.  Let them take the lead with some guidance - they may show an interest in the wildlife around them or want to embark on an art project using leaves and other natural debris.

Siblings often argue over toys and shared items so to allow things to run smoothly it's worth ensuring they have their own.

Seeds to sow that are quick to grow and/or fun:

  • Sunflowers
  • Snap peas
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes

You may even consider a small play area for your plot if you have the room and make a mud kitchen, used tyres, wooden climbing structures, sand pit and so on with bark, sand or grass as a soft play base.

The fun doesn't stop leaving the plot! They can help wash the veg, prepare and cook them too!


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