People of all ages can enjoy gardening, but children in particular have lots of fun developing new skills. A garden is much more than just plants and soil - it’s a hands-on, living classroom. Not only does gardening teach them patience, it helps improve life skills and forms a positive relationship between the child and the environment. Plus, gardening provides excellent physical activity and many more benefits:
Love of Nature – teaches children to love nature and to care for our Earth
Responsibility – from caring for plants
Understanding – they’ll learn cause and effect (example, plants die without water)
Self-Confidence – by setting and achieving their goals
Respect - teaches kids respect for other living things
Fine Motor Skills - enhances fine motor skills, especially in very young children
Cooperation – working together as a team
Creativity – finding new and exciting ways to grow food
Nutrition – learning about where fresh food comes from
Ways to get kids involved:
- Give children their own garden space (start with a large container or a few pots).
- Involve children in the planning and design of the garden.
- Start from seeds - sprouting seeds and nurturing the young seedling are a valuable part of the experience.
- Provide them with lightweight, easy-to-handle, child-sized gardening tools.
- Grow child-friendly plants such as sunflowers, corn, pumpkins, tomatoes and strawberries.
- Plant flowers that attract butterflies and ladybirds.
- Include a water feature, a birdbath or a sundial.
- Show off their work. Attention given to their work is the best motivator for children to stay involved with a project.
- Visit community gardens, farms or botanical gardens.
- Enroll them in child-friendly workshop at McDonald Garden Center!
So, if you looking for a way to inspire your children to eat healthy, exercise outdoors and become aware of the environment, get them involved in the garden. Who knows, you may be even able to get them to eat their vegetables!
Get your little ones started in the garden tomorrow -- Saturday, June 27 at 11am at our PETALS & POPSICLES WORKSHOP >>