Being around nature is a beautiful experience. Being close to nature is proven to have a calming effect on oneself. Whether you are a plant-parent or not, we are sure, you have at some point in your life tried growing a seedling or maintaining a garden. If you have never had a plant, or are amongst those who really struggle to keep a plant alive, we may have some ideas to get you started...
Gardening is an excellent way for us to interact with nature and do our small bit to preserve and learn about the environment. No matter the age, gardening or taking care of a plant is an engaging, fun, and a great learning experience for everyone. For children, it also connects to many areas of their curriculum.
In this blog, we explore the benefits of teaching kids about gardening and why it makes for a brilliant activity for young children and families.
What are the benefits of teaching children about plants and gardening?
Gardening or even maintaining a few indoor plants will help children learn important life lessons like learning about the environment as well as growing their own food. Many parents also find that gardening with their children helps them with their fussy eaters since they know how the vegetables and fruits they eat, grow!
It teaches children how to be more responsible and patient.
Growing something takes time and gardening is a great way to teach young children about responsibility and patience. It requires one to tend to the needs of the plant on a regular basis. Be it watering the plants or maintaining the garden, it takes one to be consistent and patient during the process.
It helps boost their immune system.
Yes, that’s correct. According to studies, letting your child play in the dirt can strengthen their immune system and lower their risk of developing allergies and asthma. Although there is no 100% certainty, it is still an excellent excuse to let your kids play outside where there is some mud and sunlight. It’s also a great opportunity to help them take a break from any electronic gadgets they are accustomed to.
How do I get my child to like gardening?
Whether you as a parent are new to gardening and exploring the activity with your child for the first time, or it is their first baby steps in the world of plants, starting small is a great way to learn about gardening.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), experiencing success in growing plants as a child is often their first memory of gardening.
Give children their own positive experiences by introducing them to some inspiring plants. These plants not only look good, but they’re also great to engage their senses. Easy flowers to grow from seeds include sunflowers, marigolds and poppies and big seeds from trees such as oak or sycamore.
Another way to engage them is by introducing sensory plants to your gardening project. Some of these include rattling poppy seedheads, furry Stachys byzantina, smelly curry plants, lemon balm, and chocolate cosmos. Some quick and tasty edible plants include the swiss chard ‘Bright Lights’, radish, lettuce, courgettes, and runner beans. While some edible flowers to include could be the sweet-tasting day lily and peppery nasturtium.
If you do not have the space for a garden, don’t worry. Introducing your child to indoor plants is also another way for you to teach them about planting and get the above benefits.
While most parents would agree that their kids naturally love the sprinklers, jumping in muddy puddles and making a mess. Gardening, or learning how to grow your own food is an important life skill to know and practice.
Lastly, having plants around is a wonderful way for them to experience and learn about the different textures around them. Gardening allows them to learn, be messy, get dirty, and be a child in their entirety. It is a fantastic activity to take some time off the gadgets and screens, connect with nature and bond as a family.