Often, the only time we seem to spend with our children is during meals. The rest of the day we are running around getting ready or getting our children ready for school, tuitions or play. If we don't take time out to sit and really talk to our kids now, we're definitely not going to get the opportunity to do so when they are in their teens!
One of the best ways to spend quality time with your kids on a regular basis is to take up an activity you can do together, like Bonsai.
What is Bonsai?
Bonsai is the art of growing miniature trees that you can keep in your house. However, these trees should be exposed to direct sunlight, and so should be placed close to windows or in the balcony. The trees grow to around 3 feet in height, and if you are growing a fruit tree, you could even have miniature fruits or flowers! To grow a tree takes years, which is why it is the perfect activity to start with your child now. The two of you will still be tending to the same trees five years down the line and more, making this a long-term solution.
Naturally the art of Bonsai teaches patience, as it does not provide immediate gratification. Most children grow up with dreams of earning a lot of money in as little time as possible, and these dreams get shattered when they step into the real world and see that they have to wait for a while before they can enjoy the fruits of their labour. Bonsai teaches them to work now and reap benefits later. In addition, your child will learn to appreciate nature. His practical knowledge about trees and plant-life will also increase, which is certain to help him in
The first step is to select a tree. You could either go to a nursery and purchase a Bonsai, and then continue to look after it and grow it, or you could grow your own Bonsai from a cutting. Take a small branch with a few leaves and plant it in a pot of river sand, to which some root hormone has been added. You could even take several thin branches and bind them up together. After a while they will fuse to form a thick, sturdy trunk. Start providing your tree with nutrition once it has take root, and not before. You could also start Bonsai from absolute scratch, which is by using seeds. You will need to freeze the seeds for one to four weeks before planting them. If the shells are hard, soak them overnight in hot water before planting. This method requires the most patience as it takes a long time before the seedling develops into a tree, on which you can begin work. Small shoots are also prone to being attacked by fungus, and may die as a result, so you need to be very careful, and if a tree or seedling dies, understand what caused it to die and avoid making the same mistakes again.
You will need a few basic tools and cutters before you begin Bonsai, which should be easy to get hold of. In addition, you will also need a step-by-step guide book to take you through the process. Bonsai can be a rewarding and enriching hobby, and you and your child can continue pursuing this hobby into old age!