Your Parenting Info Sign Up

3 Ways to Complete Yard Work with Preschoolers

by Joe Lawrence | March 29th, 2016 | Entertainment, Preschool

raking with kidsSpring is upon us, and the weather is beginning to beckon us outdoors. The kids have been cooped up inside and need to be freed. It is great to watch them play outside and have a great time, but I also know there is a lot of work I need to do in my yard.

The world has changed since we were kids and were told to go outside and play. We would scatter to the ends of the earth until the streetlights came on, and we had to scurry home. Even living in suburbia, I feel as if I need to keep a watchful eye on my children at all times while outside. Maybe I will feel different when they are pushing ten or as tweens, but for now I need to be there. This makes it almost impossible to get anything done in the yard.

I have a few tricks I use to get stuff done and let the kiddos enjoy the great outdoors. The first thing I do is have them help me. A kid of any age can gather sticks into a pile and get leaves from the hard to reach places in my mulch beds. I make it an adventure for them. I tell them they are looking for treasures and the treasure looks like this (as I hold up a handful of leaves). My kids eat this right up. I like this because it really does help me out and because it makes them think about how to maintain a home.

After they tire of treasure hunting, is when the challenge occurs for me. I do not want them wandering out of my field of view because then I have to follow them and, thus, I get nothing accomplished. So, phase two involves random yard toys like the swing set, bubbles, t-ball, etc. However, this seems to lose its appeal much faster when I am trying to get things done.

This has motivated me to create another way. I made a small area for the kids to plant their own little gardens. They both love clearing the area and getting the dirt ready for the plants. Then they carefully place each seed as if they are tucking them into bed for the night. This then leads to them watering the seeds and usually staring at them for a while until they realize they are not going to grow immediately.

I know none of these are ground breaking ideas, but it took me a few years to figure out ways to keep them in my view and not give them projects that require my constant oversight derailing me from my yard work.

Comments on 3 Ways to Complete Yard Work with Preschoolers