Gardening & Kids: 5 Conversation Starters
What a great gardening week we've had here at What's in the Bible? - celebrating the beauty of creation and the joy we can feel as a family spending time outside together. There's a lot we can learn from gardening - from working as a team to weed, seed, water and harvest to experiencing God's good gifts of beauty and provision through flowers and vegetables.
Dallas Willard defined beauty as "God's goodness made manifest to the senses" ... and is there a better place to experience that goodness than in a garden?
We hope that this blog series has given you the tools to bring truths about God and his intent for creation into the practice of gardening and yardwork. As you invite your children into that work, here are 5 easy conversation starters to help connect the work you are doing with lessons about God -
1. Preparing the soil
Involve your kids by showing them how to pull weeds, to remove rocks and stones, and to rake away the leaves. Ask them to imagine that God is doing the same work in their hearts. How is God preparing you? What weeds do you need to pull up to make room for God to work in your life?
Whether you make your own from compost or buy it from the store, fertilizer is an important step in gardening! After you fertilize the soil, ask your kids to think about the good things they can add to their daily lives that help their love for God grow. (Like reading the Bible, praying, listening to sermons, playing worship songs - all things we do to invite God and knowledge of him to grow within us!)
3. Planting seeds
When you get ready to plant your garden, encourage your kids to help you pick out what to plant. Imagine the eventual harvest together - will it be a bounty of beautiful flowers? Will it be tall trees or round bushes? Will it be stalks of corn or rows of tomatoes? Imagine together what your garden will be like. Pray for God to bless your efforts through rain, sun, and pollinating bees! While you pray for your garden to grow, pray for God to work in your hearts in the same way - growing the fruit of the spirit within you! (Tip! Use the Gardening Prayer in the What's in the Bible? Gardening Pack.
Now this is the hard part! Waiting for those tiny seeds to become fully mature plants is a test of patience for adults - and kids! But it's also a great opportunity to talk to kids about the importance of having patience. Ask them what they are most excited to see in the garden! In the same way they have patience with the growing plants, ask them to think about other areas of their life where they can show patience, with themselves or with others.
The best part! As your flowers blossom and your vegetables are ready to eat, involve the whole family in enjoying what you have created. Praise God for being a God who loves his creation and loves beauty, who created flowers to bring us joy and vegetables to give us food!
Let us know in the comments what kinds of conversations sprout this spring as you garden with your children!