Permaculture and Kids – Invironment
Introducing children to a generative worldview
THE BASICS OF INVOLVING KIDS IN PC [Permaculture]
Start with participatory ecology. Explain that we’re all in Nature; that Nature isn’t a place you “go to.” Get them into gardening by getting them out of the garden and into the local biosystem. Do plant walks in neighborhood parks and even just in neighborhoods.
Meet them on their level, but understand how smart kids are. Recognize when they figure something out for themselves.
Use the Socratic method — ask questions that elicit answers. “Does anyone mulch a forest? Why are worms good for plants?”
Teach plant ID beyond food and flowers. Let them use their senses to describe leaf shapes, stem colors, how plants smell and, when applicable, how they taste, at different times of the year.
Give them ownership. Give them a plot in the garden to take care of from design to harvest. Give them their own real tools to use (within reason) instead of plastic toys, and teach them how to take care of their tools. Don’t micromanage — let them make their own mistakes!
Indulge their sense of whimsy. Make totems, garden art. Let them use toy bulldozers to dig trenches for seeds. Let them do a design for a space based on their own artwork.
Lead by example. If they’re not into it, that’s okay — show them that you are! Don’t force them to participate if they’re not into it.