Benefits of Gardening with Kids
Gardening with kids has many benefits.
As we work in the garden with kids, we engage all kinds of senses through textures, smells, distinct patterns, and the excitement of new blooms.
It helps develop hand-eye coordination as well as builds physical strength as we dig and plant. While the heavy work is done when the children are not present, we pick flowers and vegetables, sow new seeds, water them, and care for our garden together with much pride.
Encourages Healthy Eating
As children help water and care for the growing vegetables, it is proven that they will have an increased interest in eating them! Growing vegetables not only teaches them the hard work that it takes to grow them, but they get a sense of achievement knowing they are eating food they have grown themselves.
It’s not just the process of growing them, but learning about all the different fruits and vegetables they can grow, when is best to grow certain kinds, and the process when it’s time to harvest.
It’s good to teach children about the preparation of food too, from harvest to cooking. There are so many valuable lessons they can learn which all help towards encouraging healthier lifestyles moving through their lives.
Teaches Responsibility and Patience
Growing any sort of plant or vegetable from the seedling or bulb stage requires daily attention and care. Each day, we observe where our plants are in their process, discussing how we get out of our garden what we put in to it.
Gardening is a great way to teach responsibility, but it is no overnight process. Children will learn patience when waiting for our flowers and vegetables to grow. The anticipation will make the moment their flower or vegetables sprout, even more exciting!
The children have a choice to participate, and are invited to help based on developmental appropriateness.
Helps with Educational Topics
Gardening helps with a wide range of topics that are a part of everyday national curriculum. The wider topics include seasons, weather, life cycles, animals and little crawling things. These are topics that children learn and skills they use from preschool right through their school years and beyond.
It also helps develop numeracy and literacy skills. Measuring and counting are mathematical concepts which are involved with gardening. Reading instructions on how to complete tasks or the name of different seeds help develop literacy skills.
Counting seeds and petals, seeing butterflies come rest on the plants they love, describing colors and shapes of plants, and charting also help towards developing these skills.
Develops Social Skills
Children learn to work together! We love discussing different types of flowers, and the processes we have carried out to plant the seeds and help them grow. Gardening presents wonderful opportunities for children to bond and help each other look after and nurture our flowers and vegetables.
We love our time in the garden, and it does not take away from our outdoor play time, but only enhances it!