Gardening is an outdoor (and sometimes even an indoor) activity that has so many benefits for you and your child. Don’t let the thought overwhelm you. A garden doesn’t have to be a perfectly level, green patch of grass in a sunny backyard. There are so many ways to incorporate a garden that fits your family’s lifestyle. Not only does gardening help a child understand eating a healthy and balanced diet, but it’s also great for brain development, and even their little souls. Check out these 5 reasons you should garden with your kids.
Promoting Healthy Eating
Once your child is too old for pureed foods, it gets harder and hard to get them to eat vegetables off of their plates. Taking some time to plant your own food, watch it grown and the excitement of picking it fresh out of the dirt will certainly help kids be more curious about the food they grew themselves. Studies suggest links between growing food and increased food preparation at home, as well as a 40 percent increase in consumption of fresh produce in adults. Not only will this activity help your child be aware of where fruits and vegetables come from, but it’ll also help you to teach them how to take it a step further by letting them help you prepare it.
Getting Kids Outdoors
In a technology filled world the kind of play our children are exposed to is different from when we were young. Getting kids outdoors has become tougher with computers and video games so accessible. Gardening can provide your child the perfect outdoor activity to get out into the sunshine, use their hands, and make something of their own. For the littler ones, increasing your child’s development of gross motor skills comes with holding a gardening shoveling, shoveling dirt and, planting and spreading seeds.
Making Learning Fun
Planting in the garden may be enough fun for your little one that they won’t even know that they are learning a whole bunch more. You can extend the lesson by teaching them small things like which plants grow under the dirt and which ones grow on top. Educating them on the sun, water, and earth, and how that helps plants grow into the yummy foods we eat. Lot of candy and snacks are packaged in brightly colored labels. Luckily, so are fruits and vegetables! Teaching your child about what color fruits and vegetables match each color in the rainbow is a fun activity that will get their brain thinking.
Believe it or not “learning to relax” is an actual skill. Sometimes children and adults alike need to recognize when they are stressed out and put themselves in a calming situation to help them relax. Gardening is proven to reduce stress. Spending time with your child gardening is not only a great stress reliever, but it’ll also teach your child to be able to “relax” without having to think about it. It’s something that will follow them into their older years where they’ll be comfortable having alone time, thinking, and taking in the fresh air.
A Way To Connect
Gardening has many benefits and spending some time to connect with your child in nature is a great thing. You can make it a one on one activity to send time with no distractions with your child, or make it a group activity. Invite your neighbors over and let the little ones and their friends connect, work on skills like team building, following instructions, and communication.
As earlier said you don’t need to feel overwhelmed with an idea of a garden. There are many fruits and vegetables that can grow in a pot, on a window sill, porch or ledge. Just the act of having an activity that can promote so many healthy lifestyle changes for you and your child, is a great thing to be involved in.