Introducing your kids to gardening at an early age can be extremely beneficial to them as they grow up. With organic gardening on the rise, showing and creating a space where children can learn about the natural food cycle will help them become better adults in the future, who in turn will then make better decisions about their health and wellness.
Gardening can be very therapeutic. It allows for a bonding experience between you and your children, and it’s a fun hobby to be enjoyed by everyone in the family. It’s a physical activity that gets your kids active, moving, and outside. Making it a group effort allows everyone to feel included, and once your garden has grown, everyone involved can then cook together.
Gardens don’t miraculously happen overnight – they take time, careful planning, and patience, which is a skill to be learned, practiced, and continued throughout our lives. It’s especially important for kids to learn the value of patience in today’s world of instant gratification. Knowing the fruits of their labor will materialize in a span of time creates patience and appreciation for the work done. Waiting to see when a plant sprouts is exciting, even if it does take a few weeks!
Gardening also teaches our young ones the value of planning before acting. They’ll need to stay organized during the planning and planting. Laying out a grid or structure for the garden and picking seeds to germinate in the correct season are important, and the process will ignite your kids’ creativity. Watching the plant life cycle before their eyes shows them cause and effect firsthand. It provides gratification and a sense of worth knowing they had their hand involved in each step of the way.
Allowing kids to be in control of gardening teaches them about responsibility, and learning how to tend and care for nature opens up kids’ minds to the reality that anything is possible – but it all takes time and hard work. Gardens need active care and must be tended to and looked after daily. Giving your child this responsibility provides them with a sense of ownership. A neglected garden will be reflected in the way it grows and performs. Children who take action in the process will witness the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor come to life!
Gardening will guide them with the knowledge of how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Kids will be able to plant foods, try them, and even help cook them. Growing their own food gives them the opportunity to try new things and expand their taste, and learning about nutrition in the process can encourage kids to make wiser food choices. Gardening will strike up many questions in young ones that will turn them into curious scientists.
Lessons of gardening are skills that can transcend into adulthood, and igniting a passion for gardening at an early age will only benefit a child in the long run. Happy growing!
Ashly Bloore is a freelance writer and mother of three