Most moms wouldn’t think of gardening as an “awesome” activity to do with their children, but they would be wrong! Gardening is a great way to get kids outside and active, teach them about plants and science, and help them learn how to work together. Plus, it’s just plain fun!
If you’re unsure where to start, this guide will give you all the information you need to get your family gardening. So grab your sunscreen, gardening gloves, and water bottles, and let’s get started!
5 Benefits of Introducing Gardening to Children
Gardening is a great activity for kids because it offers so many benefits. Aside from watching plants grow and being outdoors, gardening can teach kids many values and life skills.
Here are five benefits of gardening with children:
Develops fine motor skills
Gardening projects for kids require using small muscles in the hands, which helps children develop their fine motor skills. The use of small muscles in the hands is essential for tasks like planting seeds, watering plants, and picking weeds. As children perform these tasks, they help to improve the strength and dexterity of their fine motor skills.
Plus, gardening is a great way to get kids away from screens and use their hands differently.
Encourages scientific thinking
Kids gardening provides opportunities for children to engage in scientific thinking. It is so much fun for children to observe the changes in the garden as they happen.
They can see how plants grow, change color, and produce fruit or vegetables. Gardening also helps children to understand how different plant parts work together, such as the roots, stem, leaves, and flowers.
Gardening is a great way to introduce children to science and get them excited about learning.
Fosters cooperation and teamwork
Garden projects such as planting flowers and vegetables, or even just weeding the garden, are great opportunities for children to learn how to cooperate and work together.
To be successful, gardening requires the whole family to pitch in and do their part. This is a great way for kids to learn how to communicate and work together towards a common goal.
Builds healthy eating habits
When children grow their own food, they are more likely to eat it! Gardening is a great way to introduce kids to new fruits and vegetables and get them excited about trying new things.
For example, planting cherry tomatoes and watching them grow can be a great motivation for kids to eat tomatoes. Seeing the fruits of their labor (literally!) will encourage children to try new foods and develop healthy eating habits.
Improves mental health
Since mental health is a hot topic these days, gardening’s benefits in this area are worth mentioning. Studies have shown that gardening can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Gardening is a great way to get kids outside in nature, where they can take deep breaths of fresh air and relax in the sun. At an early age, gardening can help to instill a love of nature in children and encourage them to appreciate the world around them.
Gardening is also a great way for kids to get some exercise and fresh air, which are excellent for improving mental health.
Fun Gardening Activities To Do With Your Young Gardeners
If you have a garden space or are planning to start one, gardening with children is a great way to get the whole family involved in the gardening process. Here are some fun gardening activities that you can do with your young gardeners:
- Plant a pizza garden: Herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley are essential ingredients in pizza. Plant these herbs in a small raised garden bed or container garden, and let your kids help with the gardening. They will love being able to pick their pizza toppings!
- Make a fairy garden: Children love fairies, so why not create a unique garden just for them? Plant flowers such as daisies, impatiens, and petunias, which are all favorites of fairies. Add in a few miniature fairy houses, statues, or furniture, and your child will have a blast playing in their very own fairy garden.
- Water the plants: Watering the plants is an essential gardening task and one that kids can easily do. Let them help you water the garden, and teach them about how much water plants need. They will be so proud of themselves when they see the plants growing because of their watering!
- Pick the vegetables: After all your hard work gardening, it will be time to harvest the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor. Let your kids help you pick the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, or whatever else you have growing in your garden. They will love being able to eat the food they helped to develop!
- Paint plant pots: A child’s garden is not complete without some colorful plant pots. Give your child(ren) some washable paint and let them go to town painting pots for the plants. They will love being able to add their personal touch to the garden.
There are still so many benefits of gardening with children that haven’t been mentioned. But these are just a few activities that will get you started gardening with your children.
A step-by-step guide to gardening with kids
Teaching kids how to garden is fun and easy with this step-by-step guide.
1. Start with a small space
A small garden is easier to manage and won’t overwhelm your child. A raised bed or container garden is a great option for gardening with kids.
If you have a more extensive garden, you can section a small area just for them. This way, they will have their own space to garden without feeling overwhelmed.
The growing season in your area will also dictate how large of a space you start with. You may want to start with a smaller space in cooler climates, so the gardening season isn’t as long.
You can start with a larger space in warmer climates since the gardening season is longer. Just be sure to have an end date in mind so that you can close up the garden for the season.
2. Choose easy-to-grow plants
When you are gardening with kids, it is essential to choose plants that are easy to grow. This way, your child will successfully increase the plant and won’t get discouraged.
Some easy-to-grow plants that are great for gardening with kids include sunflowers, pumpkins, zucchini, and beans. Herbs are also an excellent option for gardening with kids. They are easy to grow and can be used in cooking, which your child will love.
If you want to grow flowers with your child, choose plants resistant to disease and pests. This way, you won’t have to worry about them getting sick or being eaten by bugs.
Since kids love watching things grow, fast-growing plants are also a great option. Sunflowers, beans, and zucchini grow quickly, which will be exciting for your child to see. In just a few weeks, these plants will start to produce fresh food that your family can enjoy.
3. Use kid-friendly gardening tools
When gardening with kids, it is crucial to have the right tools. Kid-sized gardening gloves, trowels, and buckets are all great options. You may also want to invest in a small wheelbarrow so that your child can help with moving gardening materials around.
Make sure that the gardening tools are easy for your child to use. They should be able to handle them efficiently and without too much effort.
You may also want your child to help pick out the gardening tools. This way, they will be more excited to use them in the garden.
If gardening in a raised bed, you won’t need many gardening tools. A small trowel and gardening gloves should be all you need. However, if you are gardening in a larger space, you may need a shovel and rake.
4. Plant the seeds or starts
Plant seeds or starts with your child so they can see how plants grow. This is a great activity for kids of all ages.
If gardening with younger children, you may want to start with seedlings. This way, they won’t have to wait long to see the plants growing.
Older children can help plant seeds. This is a great activity for kids who are patient and enjoy watching things grow.
No matter what age your child is, they will love being able to help plant the seeds or starts. This is a great way to teach them how plants grow and how gardening works.
5. Water the plants
Watering the plants is an integral part of gardening. It is also an excellent activity for kids.
Let your child help water the plants. They can use a small watering can or a hose with a nozzle. Just be sure to supervise them so that they don’t overwater the plants.
Older children can help water the plants on their own. Just be sure to show them how much water the plants need and when they need to be watered.
Watering the plants is an excellent way for kids to learn about plant care. It is also a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Gardening with your children can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. Not only will they learn about plants and their life cycle, but they will also develop essential skills such as patience, teamwork, and problem-solving.
Spending time in the garden together will create memories that will last a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Get outside and start gardening!
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