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6 Ways Gardening Helps A Child's Development
Julian Parsons
/ Categories: Agriculture

6 Ways Gardening Helps A Child's Development

Spending time out in the yard isn't just for adults.

Spending time out in the yard isn’t just for adults.

 

Did you know that kids can benefit by learning to garden too?

 

Helping to develop valuable skills, creating strong and healthy minds and bodies, and teaching valuable lessons about patience, dedication and responsibility, time in the garden is great for children of all ages.

 

As a fun and engaging outdoor activity, gardening is interesting, educational and healthy. So whether your garden is a small space down the side of your apartment, a large space behind your house, or a row of pot plants on your balcony, here’s how gardening can help your child’s development.

 


 

#1 - Literacy Skills

 

Learning the names of all sorts of plants, flowers and veggies is great for developing the literacy skills of your little one.

 

Not to mention learning about the growth and care tips that each plant requires. Spending time in the garden is a great way to work on language by asking your little one about the names of certain plants.

 

A great tip is provided by architecture expert Rick Buick, who says “if your child is a little older you can still work on their literacy by asking them to draw a map of the yard with each plant or veggie named. More than a fun little exercise, this will become super valuable if weeds start to sprout and you need your child to consult the map and see what needs removing.”


 

#2 - Improved Motor Skills

 

If you’ve spent any time in the garden you’ll know what a workout for the whole body it is.

 

All that bending, twisting, stretching, reaching and pulling can leave you feeling like you’ve just completed a work out at the gym.

 

For children though these movements help to develop fine motor skills. These movements use muscles in both the upper body and lower body and help little bodies to understand the connection between different types of movement.


 

#3 - Stress Relief

 

We all know how relaxing it can be to tend to the garden under a beautiful blue sky on a warm summer's day.

 

Well children can benefit in the same way! By communicating with nature, moving the body, enjoying the fresh air and getting some much needed sun, little minds get the same stress relieving boost that adults do.

 

According to school mindfulness experts at Mindset Mastery, “studies have shown that cortisol - the chemical in the brain that causes stress, actually decreases after time spent in the garden. So having a child join you for an afternoon surrounded by nature will help them find the calm, balance and serenity they need.”


 

#4 - Problem Solving Skills

 

Anyone who’s tended to a garden will know it’s more than a little watering and adding some mulch.

 

Caring for living plants requires careful thought and planning, especially when different flowers, shrubs and trees require varying levels of care.

 

Children who work in the garden, whether with friends or family, develop problem solving skills that will be priceless as they age. This is reinforced by the mental health specialists at Sydney Detox who note “skills of cooperation are developed in the garden. More than this, self-confidence comes from setting a goal and working to its conclusion, which goes towards raising strong and self-sufficient young adults.”

 

On top of this, kids learn to pay attention, follow directions, apply discipline and work towards long-term results. By seeing the garden as a long-term project kids will also develop patience and dedication to their work - both of which will help them blossom into emotionally stable and compassionate young adults.


 

#5 - Healthy Eating

 

What’s better than eating fresh produce that you grew and hand-picked from your own garden?

 

Doing it with your kids!

 

Growing their own veggies and fruits is more than a sense of accomplishment, it’s a way for kids to see first-hand where food comes from, and start to form a healthy relationship with nutrition that will help them develop into strong and healthy young adults.

 

With so many potential options to grow - spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, the list goes on, getting out into the garden is more than a Saturday afternoon well spent, it’s a massive developmental step for kids.


 

#6 - Sensory and Creativity Skills

 

It’s great to help your little one develop their physical and mental skill set, but sometimes it’s just as valuable to stimulate their senses and foster a sense of creativity.

 

As an explosion of colour and light and noise a garden offers endless new sensory experiences for your child. From feeling the texture of soil to splashing through a hose, little minds are stimulated and learn more about the world around them as a result of time in the garden.

 

If your child is a little older this benefit still applies. You could encourage their creative side by asking them to plot out a new veggie patch. With so much stimulus the garden is always a great place for kids to spend time.


 

Final Thoughts

 

With all the benefits of spending time in the garden with your kids, there are so many reasons to get out in the sun and start planting.

 

But that’s not mentioning the most valuable - it’s time with the family!

 

As well as learning valuable emotional, physical and mental skills, you get to bond with your family and create memories that will last a lifetime.

 

As your plants grow, your kids grow as people too, and that might be the most wonderful result of all.

 

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