Gardening can be messy, fun, exhausting, awarding, and exciting. Gardening with children allows you to slow down and observe nature. If you are like us, then you are also learning what it takes to grow your own food! Whether you have a green thumb or a black thumb there are certainly benefits to gardening with kids. Plus, there is a plethora of natural learning opportunities along the way!
Sensory Benefits of Gardening with Kids
Did you know that a benefit of gardening with kids is that it can help meet their sensory needs? All children can benefit from sensory play. That’s why you’ll see loads of sensory bins all over Pinterest and the internet. Gardening allows children the same experiences as a sensory bin, but with added benefit of making connections with the world around them!
Digging, lifting, carrying, pulling, and picking all offer sensory input as well as the textures and smells of the garden. See all of those moths fluttering around your cabbages? See all of the caterpillars under the cabbage leaves? There is a connection! See all of those holes in your potato plant leaves? See all of those beetles crawling at the base of your potato plant? There is another connection.
Science Benefits of Gardening with Kids
Gardening provides a fantastic introduction into the world of natural science. From planting a seed to watching seedlings grow and mature, flower formation, fruit formation, insect and plant life cycles, and the importance of sunlight and water; these are all the beginnings of botany, biology and chemistry!
Gardening with kids offers science lessons right in your own backyard. What will that caterpillar morph into and can it eat a whole tomato plant? Nature, for kids, is a gateway to science! The garden is the perfect place to experiment with water, light, and soil! Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden is a fun activity book to get your kids experimenting in the garden.
Math Benefits of Gardening with Kids
There are loads of teachable math moments when gardening with kids; how deep to plant a seed, how far apart to plant seedlings, how tall plants get, and thus how to arrange them in a garden to provide for maximum light and space. Temperatures also play a huge part in a successful garden.
Certain plants need certain temperatures to thrive. A frost can kill many plants if they are planted too early in the season. Measuring, planning, and organizing are a huge part of gardening success! Square Foot Gardening with Kids: Learn Together: – Gardening Basics – Science and Math offers tips on maximizing the natural math that accompanies gardening.
Benefits of Gardening with Kids
Growing our own vegetables gives our children the opportunity to taste new and different foods that they wouldn’t normally choose. Radishes right out of the ground and snap peas right off the vine make tasty treats. Kids discover new favorite foods. Plus anything you grow yourself taste 100 times better than anything from a store. Have your kids ever cheered for broccoli as they carried the florets through the front door?
One of the many benefits of gardening with kids is that they begin to appreciate the hard work it takes to grow and harvest food. They learn patience, confidence, and that it can be great to get messy! If you don’t have space for a garden, then try container gardening with kids. You’ll get the same benefits but you need less space! The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible is a great book to get you started with container gardening.
Will you garden with your children this year?
Thank you for reading The Benefits of Gardening with Children! You may also enjoy Natural Learning Opportunities on a Beach Vacation, and Solar Oven S’mores.