Gardening is a fun, healthy, and engaging activity for children. They are able to develop new skills, language, responsibility, and healthy habits.
Growing a garden is hard work which requires patience, dedication, and attending to the needs of another life. Ensuring a plant has the right amount of water and nutrients is vital to its success. When a child becomes responsible for a plants well being they learn to be nurturing and empathetic for something outside of themselves.
When planning out your garden it is important to start small and have realistic goals. Involve your children in the entire process. Bring them to a garden center or nursery and allow them to pick out one or two flowers they love and one or two vegetables to grow. Get them their own tools they can use while they garden (gloves, a shovel, and a bucket are great starters). This allows the children to have ownership over the garden and will get them excited to participate.
When your garden is set up, have your child plant the seeds and water the plant. Every day let them go out and check on their garden and see if the plants need more water, food, or need weeds pulled.
When the plants are ready, allow children to pick the vegetables and flowers themselves. Allow them to create a bouquet or to cook with the vegetables they grew. Children will gain confidence and self-esteem from achieving their goal of raising a plant and seeing the final out come.
Gardening also provides a way to lower stress and anxiety. And it is a great multi-sensory experience.
Gardening allows children to use all 5 senses:
-Touch: digging in the soil, feeling the plants
-Taste: growing vegetables
-Smell: plant flowers with strong smells; lavender, jasmine, and basil are all great
-Sight: choose flowers with different and bright colors
-Sound: Listen to the plants when the wind blows, snap the vegetables that grow (peas, corn, carrots)