If you have fond childhood memories of helping your parents tend to their garden, it’s time to pay it forward with your kids. In addition to being incredibly therapeutic, the benefits of gardening are manifold. Below, we discuss the benefits of teaching your kids to garden while they’re young, as well as some tips and tricks for getting (and keeping) them interested.
Gardening can help kids develop sensory development
Gardening is a great way for your kids to engage and explore their senses, including smell, touch, and sight. Gardening while young can also help develop motor skills, build hand-eye coordination, and get some exercise and fresh air while they’re at it.
Gardening can supplement academic development
The process of gardening requires precision and plenty of measuring and counting. As such, gardening can help develop numeracy and literacy skills. Just make sure you are giving your little ones plenty of tasks, such as counting seeds and measuring where to plant them.
Gardening teaches responsibility and patience
Gardening is not something that yields quick reward; rather, it forces you to work hard and wait patiently for the outcome. This is an important lesson to teach your kids, who are likely used to receiving instant gratification from technology.
Tips for getting your kids started in the garden:
- Let them decide what they want to plant. Before you even go outside, have a conversation with your kids about what they would like to plant. If they are young, provide them with a few options. This is also a great opportunity to get them to eat more vegetables since they’re more likely to eat something they’ve grown themselves.
- Delegate to them. Giving your kids specific tasks, such as watering, weeding, or counting, will help to keep them engaged and make them feel responsible.
- Gift them cool gear and gadgets. During the initial phases of gardening, your kids won’t see much tangible reward for all their hard work. This can lead to them feeling discouraged and disinterested over time. Rewarding them with gardening gear of their very own is a great way to keep them engaged and give them a sense of ownership in the garden.