The garden can be one of the best places to stimulate young children’s senses and cultivate their growing minds. When encouraging kids to develop healthy eating habits gardening can bring those lessons home in new ways. Not only do they burn off energy, they’ll feel more ownership to those tasty carrots and green beans when they’ve helped nurture them along. Gardening with kids is one of the best lifelong lessens they can participate in early and can have far-reaching benefits.
In this age of smartphones, tablets and Playstation’s, many parents feel frustrated their kids seem to lack interest in exploring the outdoors. However, kids, by nature, are curious beings who enjoy the feel of soil under their feet and the site of blooming flowers and fruit trees. Indeed, planting a garden can have great rewarding effects on your child whether physically, mentally and spiritually. Not to mention, they help share the workload and help you along as well!
Here some great reasons why your kids should join you in the garden.
It encourages your kids to eat fruits and vegetables.
When kids learn to enjoy digging in the dirt and watch the seeds grow, they feel more encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables. This has even been shown in a few recent studies, such as this on here. As a result, they are more inclined to eat healthier. This pays back not only in their physical health, but their mental focus at school as well.
It allows your kids to use their spare time constructively.
Children’s time seems more pressured than in the past. Gardening can create relaxing downtime that still gives them something productive to do. Give them more opportunities to enjoy after-school activities such as gardening, putting out bird seed, and mowing the lawn.
It makes a great return on your investment.
Even if your outdoor space is small, you can easily grow herbs or sweet cherry tomatoes using only a few containers and soil that are left to stand in a sunny spot. (Here are 5 great examples.) These plants as well as other varieties such as herbs, radishes and zucchini are fairly easy to grow which make them a great return on your investment.
They get exposed to scientific concepts when they join you in planting and tending to a garden.
Growing a garden may spark your kids’ inquisitive minds which make them ask questions such as “How does the plant drink water;” “Why do the plants need sun;” “Why do the leaves turn brown and dried,” etc. You can also share the importance of good bugs such as pollinators, birds and other animals important to any garden’s eco-system. By opening their eyes to the world around them, and how interdependent these elements are, they gain a bigger perspective.
Think of all the brain-building minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients that your kids can eat after the harvest!
Certain foods such as garlic, spinach and beets, all of which are very easy to grow, have been known to help with cognitive function. As a result, your kids can gain an advantage in their development and growth. You can train their taste buds and help them enjoy the bounty harvest of their garden.
You can enjoy doing year-round activities that are needed in growing a garden.
Start planning for the year ahead during winter. You can look through seed catalogues together, make a scrapbook of ideas for the garden, and dig and rake over the area that you plan to cultivate.
When Spring comes, you can start with the planting. One of the easiest to grow are broad beans, mustard and cress.
Summer is the time when you can be amazed with the fruits of your hard work. You can allow your kid to pick flowers, harvest crops, and help with watering in the morning and in the evening. It really can be one of the most rewarding family activities!