For parents struggling to find ways to encourage their kids to eat a healthy and balanced diet, gardening can be an important tool. Don’t let the idea overwhelm you. Gardening doesn’t require a perfectly level, large or sunny backyard. Try planting in a small raised bed or growing a few edibles in existing landscaping. Lean a trellis against an outside wall to grow beans or other edible vines. If you don’t have a lot of outdoor space, a few containers and soil in a sunny spot can be an easy way to grow herbs or some sweet cherry tomatoes that kids won’t be able to resist. Plants like zucchini, radishes and herbs are fairly easy to grow without a lot of fuss, making them a great return on your investment. The much bigger return is how planting a garden can affect not only your child’s body but also their brain and soul.
If you love to garden, you might have thought about sharing your hobby with your children. Gardening is an excellent activity for kids. It has sensory aspects, gets them outside in the dirt, and can teach them life lessons and some important science.
But that’s not all it does. Gardening with your children can also boost their immune system, and teach them at an early age how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. There are many benefits, and few drawbacks, other than the work required.
In this article, you’ll learn more about gardening with kids. You’ll learn how it benefits them, how it benefits you, some tips to make it easier, and you’ll learn about our favorite plants for kids to learn with when it comes to refining their green thumb. Let’s jump in!
Gardening is a great way to teach your kids about responsibility. Tending to a plant’s needs is work. It requires them to stay dedicated and go out every day to feed, water, and weed the plant. Only with responsible care can the plant grow to its full potential.
Don’t be surprised if it takes your child some time to get into the groove of things and start looking at garden maintenance as a responsibility rather than a chore. There’s no need to push it if they’re uninterested but remember — the lessons might not stick until the end of the growing season when they get to see the fruits of their labor.
They’ll Learn About Sustainability
Gardening with your kids is an excellent opportunity to teach them about the life cycles of plants and how they relate to living sustainably. Start a compost bucket together and talk about how you can use it to feed your garden.
Collect rainwater and use it to water your plants. In the meantime, talk to your kids about the benefits of growing your own food or supporting local farmers. Feel free to relate this topic to other aspects of your life, such as picking up litter, recycling, and avoiding food and water waste.
Kids always have questions. Gardening is a great way to stimulate their curiosity and help them learn at the same time. You probably won’t need to bring it up on your own. A few minutes in a garden, and kids will start asking questions.
It Teaches Them Where Their Food Comes From
Learning about where our food comes from is essential to learning to respect the earth and its resources. Kids don’t always understand why it’s important not to waste food. But seeing how much work it takes to grow food will give them a new appreciation for why the earth’s resources are so necessary!
The way parents talk with their kids during these activities plays a vital role. As you work in the garden, talk about other food sources, who takes part in the production chain, and why food scarcity exists. These conversations can take place at an age-appropriate level.
Finally, working together on your garden with your children is togetherness time. You build bonds with children and create memories from your experiences in the garden. While your children are learning a lifelong love of growing things, you are learning more about your children—how they think, what they like and dislike and how capable they really are. Your plants can create a beautiful environment, whether they are in a garden, a raised bed or a pot, and you and your children will enjoy every stage of the process.