Weeding is a necessary gardening chore. It is not one that is loved by many, and it can be a hard sell for kids. Some parents pay kids for sections weeded, or punish them with the weeding chore.
I was surprised by my third child, he loved to weed, took to it with gusto from a young age. The problem was he cleared healthy useful plants out along with the unwanted weeds. One year, he ‘helped” the family my cleaning off the ugly fence plants, as he called them. Unfortunately, those ugly fence plants were my young grapes. They had only been up for a few months and so he didn’t realize they were useful and very much wanted.
There is a positive and constructive way to introduce weeding that I discovered after this ‘grape incident’.
Engage a child’s sense of adventure by making a game out of gardening. Pull a weed and place it on a poster board. Write “Wanted” across the top and embellish it as desired. Hang this on a fence post, or other place where it is in plain site. Challenge the kids to round up that weeds posee. You can make several “Wanted” posters or just work on one type at a time. This will help kids identify a particular weed and show them exactly what you want them to pull. Have them toss all the offenders into a gardening cart. When they are done, let them count up how many “bad guys” they caught that day.
Another way to keep a child interested in gardening, is to supply them with quality tools. Kids garden tools are often frustrating to use. They break and bend when you try to use them for anything other than sand play. Look for gardening tools that are geared towards the elderly when choosing tools for your child. They are typically lightweight and ergonomically shaped.
For weeding you will need good gardening gloves that fit, a garden fork and a small shovel. Other items that will make weeding more fun include, a holster or tool belt, a cool hat, a garden cart and a kneeling pad.
Consider the following products:
Hand Fork, English Style
Way Cool Tools offers this angled hand fork as well as a angled shovel for $15 each. The fact that these tools will not bend or break and that they will make your job (and your child’s job) easier, make that an easy price to pay.
These textured “Grip Master” rubber gloves are offered in a mom and me package. They offer a nice grippy surface to help in pulling out prickly weeds.
Pop-up Garden Cart
This cart is much easier to move around the garden than a wheelbarrow. The 9-inch wheels make this hard to tip and it can quickly convert to a flatbed. Plus, the 100 pound weight limit makes this a possible vehicle to pull your child to and from the garden!
Make gardening fun, and keep your child’s head protected from the sun, with a fun hat. Check out Oriental Trading Company for an inexpensive hat that can be dubbed “The Weeding Hat.” Consider a cowboy hat, that would go perfectly with a holster. Pop a shovel in the holster and a sheriffs badge on their shirt with the challenge to “rid the garden of all the weedy varmits”