All children seem to love watering the garden in some shape or form. Whether as a toddler it is tipping a whole watering can onto one poor seedling or progressing onto hosing all the borders. It’s a great form of water play with a useful twist. When you have hot weather and have to water regularly it’s so good to have the help of extra pairs of hands to help. My son learnt from a very early age that water is one of the things that plants need to grow.
There is an element of trust and supervision involved in letting them use the hose. I suppose we started at about the age of 4. There’s always the slight concern that the hose may be turned onto you, the aim may go awry and hit that open window or go over the fence and hopefully miss the neighbours. Now at the age of 8 my son still prefers to water the whole plant rather than just their roots. Of course, seeing the water collect on and bounce off the leaves and foliage is much more fun than it just sinking into the ground. Another favourite of his is writing and drawing with the hose on the fence. The evening we took the above photo we even managed a rainbow in the water spray.
This year the request to water the garden went one step further. Each year I use the pressure washer to clean the paving in the garden. It makes such a difference and brightens up our north east facing back garden. This task has always been completed whilst my son is at school. On his return from school I have always been greeted by ‘Oh why didn’t you let me help’. This year he was on the ball. Even before I had thought about it he was persistent in his request to help with the pressure hose.
So I went for it. One sunny evening he changed into shorts and crocks, the extension lead with the safety cut out was found in the back of the cupboard and the battle against the dirt and grime on my paving began. It’s not surprising that he would want to have a go. It really is like shooting a gun – constantly. He was really good the gun stayed facing downwards the whole time and any aggression was only against the paving. The speed and noise of the water flow was exhilarating. We did get very wet and muddy especially below the knees. I did stay by his side the whole time.
Definitely one of those moments where as a parent you have to make a judgement about the level of risk, the maturity of your child and letting them operate independently. For my son of course, it was just great fun, outdoors active and getting slightly damp. Another garden task he could add to his repertoire and say proudly to visitors and friends that he had helped to clean the paving.
I am linking up this post with Countrykids at Coombemill . Please stop by there to see how other families have been enjoying the outdoors.