Take a step back in time, back to when you were young. Most of us have memories of either our parent’s garden or our grandparents, and tapping into these magical moments can remind you of some of the benefits of gardening for children. There is much to be learned from gardening and many of the benefits are life lessons in addition to gardening skills. Here some lasting benefits of gardening with kids and we as adults can often reap these same benefits!
The Many Benefits of Gardening For Children
Kids gardening activities can do so much more than inspire a green thumb. Gardening and cooking with children are both excellent ways to spend time and emotionally connect with your family. Even a small veggie garden in the backyard can help teach kids about the value of self-reliance, sustainability, and also how to cook and utilize locally grown food. Whether you decide to grow a potted tomato plant, or an entire vegetable garden, you’ll find the experience well worth the effort!
Make Magical Garden Memories
There’s no doubt that children find gardens a magical place. From Narnia, to Tom’s midnight garden, even Charlie and the Chocolate factory, all of these kids books classics feature landscapes of mystery and intrigue where young ones can play and discover, build and create because gardens are truly wonderful places to make memories and exercise our imaginations.
Primarily you must be enthusiastic, if you can make it sound exciting, your child will hop on board and wonder what all the fuss is about. Telling tales and explaining in a simple way will ensure they stay captivated until the garden has them in its influential clutches.
Learn To Start Small And Plan Ahead
Start small with easy garden food crops that don’t take a long time to grow. The key is to remember that children are, by nature, impatient. So planting bulbs in the autumn to be ready for the spring would see their interest wane immediately. While it is a good project, it is not an ideal solo introduction to gardening. Cress and sprouts are ideal, at this time of the year you can sow seeds indoors on cotton wool, giving them a taste for organic gardening, and helping them to produce something which is fit to eat.
Cooking and gardening are great learning experiences for your kids. Essential organizing, measuring and counting skills are all incorporated into these family friendly activities. Growing your own food will allow your kids to learn about what grows in different seasons and how to plan accordingly. In addition, combining gardening and cooking is a superb way to educate your kids on where food comes from and what great value it has to society.
Learn The Value Of Hard Work
The vegetable patch another ideal place to start as you can reward from the beginning to the very end. Children will be ever so proud of their little selves if they can produce fit for the family to eat, and it may also encourage them to try new foods too. Quick growers include lettuce, beetroot, rocket and peas, and if the child can’t wait for the peas to pod, the shoots are delicious in any salad or garnishing any roast dinner. This project takes a few months and teaches them to keep working at their project to keep seeing the benefits of their labor.
That reminds me of this great quote-
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson
These family based activities will make it easier for you to spend quality time with your kids. Instead of just watching TV or going to the mall, gardening and cooking allow for high levels of interaction and they stimulate conversation. Both gardening and cooking with children can provide a great deal of impetus for family bonding and will likely lead to memories that both yourself and your children will cherish forever. One of the biggest benefits of gardening with kids is this special quality active time that encourages working together and communicating and it also allows you to literally enjoy the fruits of your labor together!
Studies show that gardening can have therapeutic effects on children and adults alike. The concentration gardening activities require can calm and help relax kids during a difficult or stressful time in their lives. Children are also likely to feel very proud of their hard work and accomplishments in the garden, which can help build up their self-confidence and self- esteem.
Learn To Dream Big And Go Large!
Giant varieties of flowers and vegetables are also a great idea, if children are allowed to grow something which they can almost watch growing, they will feel very excited indeed. Mammoth pumpkins and giant sunflowers are a wonderful way to start growing and they will get the message that sometimes, dreaming big is a good thing.
That reminds me of this quote-
“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” –Tony Robbins
Where There Is A Will There Is A Way
Even in winter kids can grow sprouting beans such as aduki. Bought from any health food shop, all that is needed is some sprout seeds, a big jar and some moisture, and then within a few days these seedlings will be fit for the table.
Yes, gardening and cooking with your kids can be a lot of fun! These are extremely fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. In this technological age they are great ways to introduce kids to the simple yet fun pleasures in life. Gardening and cooking with your little ones is a fantastic way to connect not only with your kids but also with nature itself. You won’t regret it!
Sometimes One Thing Leads To Another
It’s not all about growing in the garden though, encouraging children outdoors to perform any task that will help is an achievement, and once there they will show an interest in other aspects too. So incorporate some arts and crafts such as garden signs, building a scarecrow, a bird house, or a wildlife haven for ladybugs. Each can be decorated and painted, and will add a unique twist to your garden design.
Your kids will be gaining invaluable life skills through gardening and cooking. Teaching them so early in life the value of both growing and making your own food will help them learn about responsibility and commitment. Equipping your kids with such essential life skills will help them out in both the short and the long term.
The benefits of gardening for children may begin with inspiring a green thumb but they go far beyond. While learning to garden, children will learn valuable skills and life lessons. They will learn how to plan things, how to work at them, how to dream bigger, how to be inspired in other areas, and how to try again and improve plans with successive attempts. What are your favorite benefits of gardening with kids?