Getting the whole family involved in lawn care can be tricky at times. Especially because some aspects of lawn care are better left to a professional such as spraying pesticide, mowing, and edging. However, there are plenty of safe, fun activities kids can get involved in such as raking leaves, watering plants, and pulling weeds. You could even plant a garden as a family, tending to and harvesting from it together!
Exploring the benefits of nature
Encouraging your family to get outdoors has numerous benefits. Getting your kids involved in the process develops a good work ethic, promotes exercise, and helps them get vitamin D the natural way. It also nurtures your kids’ minds. In fact, studies show that being outside can actually boost children’s brain development and creativity! “The variety of objects and patterns found in natural landscapes encourages imaginative play, which is linked to social as well as cognitive development,” says Kristina Birdsong with Fast Forward by Scientific Learning.
Making it all play, not work
If you make lawn care seem more like play than work, kids may be more eager to join in. Show younger children how to pull weeds and have them sort them by type, size, or color. Get their help gathering small branches and rocks to prepare the lawn for mowing. You could even jump in a pile of leaves with them a few times before you bag the leaves up. If young children get distracted from their task, that’s okay. Let them explore a bit! It’s healthy for them to be creative.
For older kids, offering an incentive like extra allowance money can help them get more involved. It’s important to assign tasks according to age, so have older kids help with tasks like raking and hauling bags of leaves. Keep everyone hydrated and enjoy a snack like cookies and lemonade afterwar. This could help lawn care feel less like work and more like a family activity.
Even as you make lawn care fun, it’s important to make it safe. Save tasks like mowing, trimming, etc. for a later time when kids aren’t around, and be sure everyone stays within your line of sight. Teach them which plants are dangerous such as poison ivy and poison oak, quizzing each other on how to recognize them. Don’t forget to teach everyone which tools are off limits, including motorized tools and anything that has a blade.
The value of doing lawn care as a family
Doing lawn care as a family, even if it’s just once a month, can be a way to bond, unwind, and nurture your kids. It teaches them the value of teamwork and the importance of caring for what’s yours, which are both important lessons to learn. And who knows? Maybe someday they’ll look back on doing lawn care together as one of the best memories of their childhood.