13 Amazing Benefits Your Children Will Gain With Gardening

August 25, 2021

13 Amazing Benefits Your Children Will Gain With Gardening

Gardening is a healthy, fun activity for children.

Children develop new skills and learn about science and nature from growing their own food.

There are a variety of interesting activities children can be involved in, such as planting, mulching, weeding and cooking.

Make sure that your garden is a safe place, with suitable equipment, tools, fences, gates and paths for children to use.

children smelling flowers in a garden

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Teaching Garden Curriculum Ideas

Children learn through play. The best way to allow them to do this is by providing them fun and exciting hands-on activities that also stimulate all of their senses. If you want to get them curious and learn about gardening, give them fun activities related to just that.

Activities can include, but are certainly not limited to, things like sensory play, special snacks or cooking activities, outdoor games, arts and crafts, and so much more!

Patience

Why your kid needs it: Being patient is something many children struggle with, but it can be an important factor in future school success. 

It also helps a kid stay calm in stressful situations, which promotes good mental health. 

How a garden helps: Good stuff comes at the end of a growing season like yummy fruit or pretty flowers but kids have to wait for it. For instance, a carrot seed can take between 70 and 80 days to mature.

How to grow it: Ease them into their new patient attitude with quick-to-sprout options like sunflowers and nasturtiums that germinate in about seven to 10 days; arugula can be ready to eat in five to seven days. 

For longer-growth plants, kids can create a garden journal to document the progress of their seedling with words, drawings, or photos.

Mindfulness

Why your kid needs it: Research shows that practicing mindfulness is a great stress reliever, even for children. 

How a garden helps: Working in a garden engages children with multiple sounds, smells, and sights. Activities that encourage kids to focus on all these at once can bring calm to their young minds. When kids are aware of what they're thinking and noticing, they realize they have the power to control their big feelings and thoughts.

How to grow it: Encourage kids to zone out while they're doing a rote task such as watering or digging. (Bonus if you can get them to do it without headphones!) Engaging with multiple sensory experiences the feel and smell of dirt, the sound and sight of water helps them to focus on the moment, bringing them a sense of calm.

young girl in garden

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Kindness

Why your kid needs it: Studies suggest that children who are considered helpful go on to make better grades and achieve career success. And of course, kindness can help kids develop empathy both toward others and themselves. 

How a garden helps: When kids realize that a garden is full of living things that need their help to survive, they can develop a sense of caring and thoughtfulness.

How to grow it: Think about kind options to maintain a healthy garden, such as having kids plant garden helpers like thyme and tansy, which both have strong oils that deter pesky bugs like aphids and whiteflies. You can also help them release beneficial ladybugs to devour aphids on plants like roses.

Responsibility

Why your kid needs it: Children who see themselves as more responsible often feel empowered and confident. And learning to take responsibility for their choices teaches kids how to choose between right and wrong. 

How a garden helps: Maintaining any kind of garden even a small window box needs constant, long-term commitment and follow-through to make sure the plants thrive.

How to grow it: Put kids in charge of a single container or a small part of a bigger garden for which they're totally responsible. Try theming the child's area of the garden: for instance, one with herbs and vegetables you'll use to make pizza.

Self - Esteem

Why your kid needs it: Kids with positive self-esteem are more likely to try new things and overcome mistakes. 

How a garden helps: Gardening brings children a sense of accomplishment after they've watched their plants go from seedling to food or flowers. And observing how one plant flourishes while another one doesn't helps children learn from harmless mistakes.

How to grow it: To provide a boost of confidence, choose activities that provide a quick result of their hard work, such as weeding or pruning flowers. Another idea is to have them plant and care for a small tree, like a dwarf lemon, that will remind them of their achievement for a long time.

young boy in garden

Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

Gardening Can Help Overcome Allergies

If you have allergies, it's likely your children will, too, but plant life might change that. Grow herbs at home or let the young one spend more time in nature. 

In the case of dust-mite allergies, air purifiers with no filter replacement can help, too. 

They can help your child to overcome intolerance to many allergens, be it plant life, pets, inset, or mold.

Encourages Healthy Eating

Eating healthy food is vital for brain and body development but it can be hard at times to get kids to eat those fruits and veggies. By having them grow their own string beans, carrots and lettuce, they will have a sense of pride in eating what they have “created.” This, in turn, will emphasize the importance of healthy eating. Kids will soon learn to love eating strawberries, blueberries and even broccoli!

Gardening encourages kids to eat fruits and vegetables which leads to a healthy lifestyle.

Enhances Fine Motor Development

Scooping up the dirt, placing the seeds in the pots and pouring the water all take fine motor control and strength. As kids garden, they develop important motor skills that will help them improve their academic skills such as writing, cutting and typing.

Introduces Kids to Scientific Concepts

Gardening is a wonderful introduction into the world of science especially botany, biology and chemistry. When kids plant their first seeds they become curious about what will happen next. They make their own hypothesis and monitor the progress each day. 

Without even realizing it, kids are learning the basic steps of the scientific process. As kids get older, they learn about the impact of sunlight and water on the growth of a plant. 

They learn which plants need more sunlight, which need less water and how long they take to grow. Gardening offers wonderful science lessons right at home!

Planting beans is a fun gardening activity that is also a wonderful scientific experiment.

boy in garden

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Develops Math Skills

There are so many teachable math moments when gardening from measuring the soil depth to counting the seeds. You can also embed math lessons into the gardening experience. 

For example, your child can measure the growth of the plant and then create a graph. Kids can also measure and compare the sizes of the vegetables as well the number of petals on the flowers. 

Another fun lesson is to identify all the different shapes that can be found in the garden. This is a great introduction to Geometry.

Sensory and Science in the Garden

There are so many sensory bin ideas you can do for children to allow them to explore using their senses and get hands on with the garden theme. Give them their own container full of soil, some sticks, and rakes to create a garden. Use sand and rocks to make a Zen garden . Let them actually dig and get their hands dirty, add seeds to examine and explore with, help them plant their own seeds , or add fresh smelling flowers.

Feeling textures of different materials and plants is very stimulating for sensory development. You can also talk about what types of plants are edible and even let them taste different things grown in the garden. Other ideas for a sensory bin include:

Adding different leaves to explore and identify

Adding mud, leaves, twigs, etc. for bird nest building

Containers of water for washing fresh reduce

Dirt with insects to bury/dig up

Science in the garden can be as simple as exploring an old bird nest you find or broken eggshells, playing in mud and seeing what happens when mud sits out in the sun, or learning about garden helpers by exploring earthworms . Other simple science activities include:

Exploring the parts of an apple or cleaning out a pumpkin

Comparing fresh and dried fruits, leaves, or flowers

Flowers in a garden

Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels

Flowers, fruits and vegetables

Gardening provides a great introduction to the environment around them. Children can learn about many different flowers, fruits and vegetables, can physically feel them in their own hands, and can even smell them. This sensory introduction is concrete and solid, and will leave them feeling good.

Children are curious, like to learn by doing, and love to play in the dirt. Working in a garden, a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life firsthand.

Apart from spending some quality time with your children in the outdoors there are a number of benefits your children will receive. 




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