We’re all aware of the benefits of fresh air and the outdoors, but did you know involving children in simple gardening practices has many benefits too?
Gardening can benefit children of all ages by providing a great opportunity to learn and equipping them with critical skills that can help them in other areas of their lives. Below are some of the main benefits children can experience by helping in the garden.
Gardening can heighten all senses in children. They can feel the dirt, flowers, fruit, leaves and seeds, see the vibrant colours and sizes of plants, hear the sound of leaves rustling and fruit/vegetables being picked, and smell fresh flowers, fruits and herbs. Best of all, they can taste the outcome of their hard work! By engaging all five senses, gardening can help children better understand the gardening process and where their food comes from.
Undertaking a gardening project can teach responsibility to children, as they learn that it is their job to take care of their seeds and plants each day for them to be healthy. By creating a checklist for children to run through each day, they can better understand their role in caring for plants.
Motor Skill Development
Gardening requires children to practice and hone their fine motor skills. Planting seeds, scooping dirt, and watering plants all help to improve motor skills, which can, in the term, help to improve their concentration and learning capabilities.
Promote Healthy Eating
Getting children to eat their fruits and vegetables can sometimes be a challenge. However, when involved in every step of the process, they are more likely to gain a sense of ownership and pride over their healthy eating choices.
Introduction to Science & Math
So many parts of gardening introduce children to basic science and math concepts. Math concepts can include counting seeds, measuring soil depth and counting petals/leaves. Science concepts can include sprouting and understanding how plants require sunlight and water for growth.
In addition to these wonderful benefits of gardening, the process teaches children to be patient. Waiting for a vegetable to be ready to pick or for a flower to open up will make the moment even more exciting.
At Lifelong Learning Centres across Australia, children are encouraged to participate in plant, vegetable & herb garden development. Some centres even use freshly grown herbs and vegetables in their meals!
For more information or to book a tour at a Lifelong Learning Centre, call 1800 CHILD CARE.