Gardening is usually thought of as an activity for old people, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. While many elderly people recognise the incredible benefits that gardening offers, this doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t get involved as well.
Children could have the most to gain from gardening thanks to the many splendid benefits it gives them early on in life.
Wondering what they are? In this article, we’ll share six benefits of gardening for children.
Learning over the holidays
According to Deborah Wood, director at leading polytunnel and gardening equipment supplier Premier Polytunnels, “Encouraging children to get outdoors and take part in fun gardening activities is more important than you might think.
Getting the kids involved with some great gardening projects, particularly over the long summer break, helps to avoid the “holiday slump”, which is a known phenomenon that can set some children back with their learning due to a lack of engagement in learning activities.
Starting a vegetable garden, growing the tallest sunflower, making a bug hotel, or playing in the mud kitchen are just some of the great outdoor activities for children to enjoy.”
Getting hands-on experience
Gardening provides a hands-on and experiential learning experience. This helps children to become active learners, as they not only observe but also interact in the entire process of gardening. From planting seedlings to harvesting plants, gardening is safe enough that children can get stuck in and have lots of fun while they’re at it.
Creating environmental awareness
Through gardening, children develop a deeper connection with nature and a better understanding of the environment they live in. They learn about the importance of soil, water, sunlight, and other factors that aren’t just essential for plant life but also for human health. They’ll carry this greater environmental awareness with them throughout their life, using it to live in harmony with the environment rather than ravaging or neglecting it.
Gaining a natural education
Gardening helps children get practical experience of a wide range of topics that they’ll encounter in school. These include weather patterns, life cycles, animals, insects and, of course, plants.
Gardening introduces children to basic scientific principles. They learn about photosynthesis, germination, pollination, and the interdependence of living organisms in a garden ecosystem. Children also get to use their numeracy skills with various measuring and counting tasks that are vital in the garden.
Achieving goals helps children to become more resilient, independent and confident. Gardening gives them a great opportunity to reap these rewards, as they invest time and effort into their gardening and see their hard work materialise into flourishing garden produce. And this effect is only magnified when they’re able to actually eat the delicious food they’ve grown.
Gardening requires children to learn new qualities as they wait for plants to grow and mature. Nurturing plants and vegetables from seedling into a flourishing crop takes daily attention and care. Since this isn’t an overnight process, children develop their patience and learn responsibility for taking care of their plants.
From keeping their brains active during the holiday period to learning about the natural world, there are so many amazing benefits that children can enjoy by gardening. As a bonus benefit, consider that gardening is a great way to get outdoors and that spending time in nature improves mental health. If you’re looking for a kids’ activity that’s educational, character building and fun, then you should start gardening with your children as soon as possible.