Spring is finally here and that means sunshine, fresh air, and gardening. Starting a family garden is a great family project that not only encourages spending time outside, but the act of planting and tending to a garden actually has many advantages for children.
Gardening is Educational
Actively participating in the planting and nourishment of a garden teaches kids important life skills. Taking care of a garden is a great way to learn responsibility and can boost their self-confidence as the garden begins to grow and flourish, leaving them beaming with pride at what they have accomplished. Planting a vegetable garden is also a good way to teach children about good nutrition and what an important role it plays in our health and overall well being. Gardening also provides an interactive way to help young children begin to understand the roles of cause and effect, such as without water the plants will die, etc. Gardening also helps kids learn about the environment, how nature works, how weather affects us, and the science of plants.
Gardening From a Young Age Can Encourage a Love of Nature
It today’s technology based world, the amount of time that children spend outdoors is diminishing. Gardening is a fun way to counteract that by getting them interested in a hobby that requires time spent outdoors. A love of gardening can easily flourish into a love of nature that children carry through to adulthood.
Gardening Helps Siblings Learn to Work Together
Siblings don’t always get along and sometimes the constant bickering and squabbling can make it feel like they are always working against each other. Planting a family garden together can get siblings on the same page as they all work together toward one common goal, helping them to better understand teamwork and how good it can feel to accomplish something together.
Ready to start planting? Here’s some tips to get you started:
- Pick plants that children find interesting such as sunflowers and snapdragons for a flower garden or strawberries and tomatoes for a vegetable garden. This will help get them excited about planting the garden and keep them interested.
- Encourage the kids to get dirty. Kids love playing in the dirt, so let them! Assign them gardening chores that they will find fun such as digging in the dirt. Let them know that getting dirty is not only OK, it’s encouraged!
- Do fun activities involving your garden such as making a scarecrow or putting up a birdbath. The garden should be a place the family enjoys spending time so get involved in activities to make it a fun place for everyone.
- Keep it safe. Be sure to avoid using harmful chemicals and keep all sprays and fertilizers out of reach of children. Select kid friendly tools and don’t let children use any sharp tools. Also be sure to use sunscreen and shade when spending extended time in the sun.
Now ready, set, plant!