Benefits of Getting Kids Involved in Gardening

April 7, 2021

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.” -Alfred Austin

The satisfaction of nourishing a plant to life is hard to beat. Whether it’s a container plant or an entire garden, nurturing your green thumb is intrinsically therapeutic.

Just like adults, kids enjoy a variety of benefits from gardening — in fact, they benefit even more from starting young. Spring is the perfect time to encourage a tech break and get some fresh air together. Read on to learn more about all the benefits, plus how you can dig in as a family!

 

The benefits of raising little gardeners

Looking for a reason to include your kids in gardening this spring? We’ve got five below — and that’s just the short list! 

Encourages healthy habits

Gardening teaches kids about nature, which fosters a curiosity about the environment and a deeper sense of respect for the earth. Beyond encouraging stewardship, it’s a hands-on way to show the kiddos where their food comes from. When they’ve put the work into making it happen, they’re much more likely to give those veggies a taste. 

Revs the five senses

If you’re looking for a sensory experience, gardening has it all. Little ones can roll around in the dirt, smell the plants, taste the fruits of their labor, hear the buzzing bees and see a rainbow of colors in the flowers. Gardening engages their five senses with one single activity, which has both a calming and stimulating effect. Best of all, it gets them out in the fresh air and away from their screens!

Gets the whole family involved

Gardening is something the entire family can take part in, regardless of their age. Assign everyone a task and watch how quickly you start working together as a team. It’s a great way for everyone to relieve stress and feel calm, happy and closer as a family unit.

Develops patience

There’s no denying that kids love immediate gratification. Gardening teaches them (and, let’s be honest, us too) that good things take time. Watching their seeds grow is the ultimate way to learn the value of patience. Along with a boost of self-sufficiency, responsibility and a sense of purpose and pride.

Teaches countless science lessons

Gardening is the ultimate science experiment. Chemistry, biology, ecology, food science…it’s all there! Plus, there’s no denying that taking care of plants is a great way to develop greater observation skills. Research even shows that kids involved in gardening perform better in school.

Getting your kids started 

Need some help getting them out in the garden? Here are a few of our top tips!

Offer them their own land

Really want your child to feel responsible for what they grow? Give them their own plot. Let them choose what they want to grow there and have them plant it. This teaches them ownership and responsibility while also allowing them to learn a new skill. 

Get kid-safe gardening supplies

When kids have their own supplies to work with, they’ll be even more excited about getting out in the garden. From colorful buckets to rakes and shovels, there are plenty of options to keep them entertained. 

Build a routine around it

If you head outside and garden once a week, it will become an activity your child looks forward to. Keep the same day and time each week so they get used to it. Kids thrive around routine, and when they realize they get to check on their plants every Tuesday morning, they’ll look forward to it. 

Let it be a bonding experience

Being outside with your little one is the perfect time to talk to them, or just work side by side in peace and quiet. Make sure the experience is fun and not overly stressful or rigid (that is to say, try to not to be a “backseat gardener”). Gardening gives dedicated time together — and that’s the most important part of the activity! 

For more family-friendly tips, check out the CA Parents’ Corner blog.

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