We have all heard that being outside in the fresh air has all sorts of health benefits. We have also heard that planting flowers can be therapeutic. But did you know that gardening has amazing developmental benefits for children? Gardening offers wonderful opportunities for children to play, learn and grow!
- Gardening engages all the senses – Kids can touch and feel the dirt, seeds and flowers, see the bright colors and the different sizes of the plants, hear the sound of the vegetable when it is taken from the plant and smell the enchanting scents of the flowers. Allowing all of the senses to be involved will help your child understand and grasp the concept of gardening along with all the math and science that go along with it.
- Gardening encourages healthy eating – Eating healthy food is vital for brain and body development, but it can be tricky to get our little ones to eat those fruits and veggies. By having them grow their own vegetables, they will have a sense of pride in eating what they have “created.” It’s a win-win!
- Gardening introduces science – When your child plants their first seed, they will be curious about what will happen next. Encourage them to make their own hypothesis and monitor the progress each day. Without realizing it, kids are learning the basic steps of the scientific process. Gardening offers wonderful science lessons right at home!
- Gardening teaches responsibility – Your child will learn that they have to take care of their seeds each day in order for them to become healthy plants. To help, you can make a checklist that your child can use to make sure they care for their plants every day.
- Gardening develops math skills – There are so many teachable math moments, like measuring the soil depth and counting the seeds. Your child can measure and compare the sizes of vegetables as well as the number of petals on the flowers.
- Gardening teaches patience – As parents, we know our little ones are used to immediate gratification, but gardening is often a slow process. Children must learn to patiently wait for their flowers and vegetables to grow. The waiting actually makes the moment the flower or vegetable sprouts even more exciting!