Planting a garden is about more than just growing fresh produce. Make it a family activity by letting your child dig in with you to help nurture their own growth. Here are 10 ways gardening with kids helps their development.
Engage all five senses. Sensory exploration is an easy task in the garden! Ask questions such as:
- How does the dirt feel against your hands?
- How does the tomato plant smell?
- Can you hear any insects in the garden?
Encourage healthy eating. It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables taste better when you grow them yourself! The same goes for picky eaters. Most won’t be able to resist trying veggies from their own garden.
Enhance fine motor development. Tasks like watering, digging, weeding, gathering, and organizing and storing seeds, all contribute to developing fine motor skills.
Explore science. Gardening exposes children to sciences such as botany, chemistry, and meteorology. They will gain an understanding of topics such as:
- How plants require sunlight and water for growth
- How to monitor the weather and its effects on the garden
- Which types of soil allow plants to grow better
Teach responsibility. Give children their own space and actively encourage them to take responsibility for the plants they grow. In turn, they will feel a sense of gratification when their plants progress. As children spend more time in the garden, they will also become naturally driven to green thinking and environmental preservation!
Reduce stress. Gardening can be a huge stress reliever for children as it teaches how to relax, calm down, and control emotions. Spending time in nature, among flowers and trees, has been proven to improve moods in children and adults!
Develop math skills. Counting and measuring are two key skills in gardening. Ask questions such as:
- How far apart should seeds be planted?
- How many does that mean you can plant in each row?
- How much water does each plant need?
- How many hours of sunlight will plants get each day?
Teach patience. The waiting time for a vegetable to be ready to pick, or for a flower to bloom, can take weeks, if not months. Gardening is all about patience but is worth the wait!
Promote family time. Gardening is a great time to have conversations without electronics getting in the way. Working together in the garden helps to strengthen bonds and create meaningful memories!
Nourish self-confidence. Gardening helps children feel more capable. Looking after a plant and seeing their hard work pay off can substantially boost a child’s sense of competence.
Want other fun ideas for the summer ahead? Check out our summer camp, Camp LELA, at all Lil’ Einstein Learning Academy locations.
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