Lessons to be learned from growing a garden.
Gardening is a pastime enjoyed by people of all ages, however children in particular benefit from gardening because it is an educational, fun and healthy family activity. Here are a few benefits.
Cause and Effect- By learning how to plant seeds or small plants and care for them, children learn that they have a direct impact on the garden’s success—if they water and weed regularly, most likely the garden will grow. If they do not tend to the garden, the seeds will never sprout. Cause and effect is an important lesson for kids to learn because it teaches them personal responsibility and how human beings have a direct impact on nature. Gardening also teaches kids about the science of plants and animals; and what factors the environment, weather and nutrition play in the overall success of the garden’s growth.
Self-confidence- Successfully growing fruits and vegetables fills children with an immense amount of pride and self-confidence. Evelyn Neier, Kansas State University Research and Extension 4-H youth development specialist and Junior Master Gardener coordinator said, “Children typically like to eat vegetables they grow and are proud to offer them to others. Being able to come to the table and say ‘I grew that lettuce’ can be a real boost to a child’s self-esteem.”
Appreciation for nature- Gardening gives children a unique opportunity to learn many aspects about their immediate environment in a safe and familiar place. They can tap into their creativity to find new and exciting ways to grow fruits and vegetables. Children also develop an appreciation for the nutritious foods provided as a result of working with Mother Nature. Learning which varieties must be buried deeper than others, and measuring accordingly, is a great way to teach math and science skills.
Tips and Tricks
It’s easy to pique kids’ interest in gardening because they love to play in dirt, however the process itself tends to hold their interest. Follow these tips to maximize your children’s involvement.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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