- Posted by Jack
Updated:2nd April 2019
- Published: 2nd April 2019
- In: Seasonal Suggestions
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7 Ways Gardening Can Benefit Your Children
No matter how large or how small your garden space is, you should never underestimate the benefits it can have for your children. We will discuss some of them in this article, so if you haven’t already, perhaps this is the year you encourage your little ones to get outdoors.
Here are some of the reasons as to why you should.
#1: Gardening is an educational hobby
All children need a hobby, particularly one that offers educational opportunities. When out in the garden, your children will learn how to grow plants and food. They can learn the science as to what plants need to grow. And your children can learn more about responsibility as they care for the plants in their care. By getting your children interested in gardening, they will learn new skills and acquire pieces of knowledge that will help them during their school years and beyond when they have gardens of their own to look after.
#2: Gardening can build self-confidence
Perhaps using the methods involved with square foot gardening, give your children their own piece of the land. They can then plant whatever crops or foods they like, and then cultivate, nurture and watch them grow. And in the process, your children’s self-confidence might grow in tandem. They will have learned a new skill. They will see the fruits (perhaps literally) of their labours. And they will have something to show off to peers and family members, with that satisfaction that comes from knowing that they have achieved something wonderful in the time they spent in the garden.
#3: Gardening will get your children outside
For better and for worse, computers, video games, and smartphones have taken over our children’s lives. As a result, our kids spend more time indoors than outdoors, and this, as you can probably guess, isn’t good for them, especially where laziness and obesity are concerned. But by getting outdoors, your children will experience and feel the health benefits. They will become stronger and more active, as they will be pottering around the garden, lifting things and using their fine motor skills. And their mental wellbeing will be improved, as they can get smarter from skills and knowledge gained, and particularly on a sunny day, benefit from the vitamin D from the sun which can trigger those happiness chemicals in their brains. Oh, and by getting your children outside, you will also have more time to do the housework without them getting underfoot, so not only will they benefit from the great outdoors but you will benefit too!
#4: Gardening can promote healthy eating
Try as they might, many parents struggle to get their children to eat healthily. Our kids are often reluctant to eat anything that is the wrong colour (hint: green) on their plates, and that might be considered nutritious. Instead, they prefer pizza, potato chips, and anything that comes overloaded with sugar. However, even the fussiest of children will attempt to eat something they have grown themselves, so this is an excellent way to encourage them to eat healthily. From peas and carrots to strawberries and tomatoes, you might finally win that age-old battle; the will of children vs. a plate of fruit and vegetables!
#5: Gardening can strengthen their bond with you
It can be hard to bond with your child, especially when they are prone to spending more time in their bedrooms than outdoors and you are busy with your own life. Finding a hobby to do together then is a must. Gardening can be one such shared activity, as you can spend time with your child planting and cultivating crops. You can then talk to them about gardening matters as well as any other issues that may be on their minds. You can also celebrate successes together, such as when the hard work you have both put in is shown through a fresh batch of crops. So, as your fruit and veggies grow, your relationship with your child should grow as well.
#6: Gardening helps your child to work well with others
Not only can you bond with your child while gardening, but the same applies to the other people your child has in their lives. They might work in the garden with their siblings, for example, or they might invite friends over to share responsibilities. Your children will then learn important life skills, such as sharing when using tools, and giving instruction when your child can teach another how to plant a bulb or some other such activity common in the garden.
#7: Gardening can connect your children to nature
When spending time looking at the glare of a phone or computer screen, our children often miss out the beauty of the world around them. Sure, they might get the opportunity to check out a nice photo on Instagram or travel through a virtual fairy-tale world, but they are poor substitutes for the sights, sounds, and smells of the world outside. By getting outside into the garden then, your children will discover more about the natural world, from learning how things grow to how certain insects pollinate the flowers. They will get the opportunity to watch wildlife, and actively make efforts to look after the creatures around them, perhaps by creating a butterfly or a bird feeder. You can also make your children more environmentally aware, perhaps by explaining to them the dangers of litter and waste on our birds and animals, as this will make them more eco-aware in the way they live their lives.
There are many benefits to being out in the garden for your children, and not only (as many people suppose) when it comes to play. By actively gardening and connecting with nature, your children will experience the benefits that we have discussed in this article. So, as the weather gets warmer, and as the days become longer, perhaps it’s time you explored these benefits with your children. And hey, even if you don’t have children of your own, you might also experience some of those benefits in your own life too. Gardening is good for all of us, so no matter your situation, consider what we have said in this article today.
Take care, and thanks for reading!
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