Gardening Grows Brilliant Kids: Get Growing!
We all know that sunshine and fresh air is good for us, and what better way to get our children out in nature, than to spend some time gardening? Healthy and inexpensive, it’s a perfect way to learn and have fun.
Gardening teaches important life lessons like hard work, patience and responsibility. But it can also play a vital role in our emotional wellbeing and psychological development. Research shows that absorbing natural sights and sounds relieves stress, stimulates creativity and helps children learn better.
Children love to get their hands dirty and with gardening they can do something healthy and educational while getting mucky! It’s a good idea to set aside some old clothes to do gardening in and remember to use hats and sunblock for sunny days.
great place to start is by planting quick-growing edible plants like herbs and vegetables. Children will have fun eating what they’ve grown themselves and even fussy eaters will be encouraged to try new foods.
Capture their interest with colourful scented flowers and let them hunt for mini-creatures, showing them how to hold them gently to see what they look like up close. They can make drawings in their sketch books of all their favourite plants, bugs and birds.
Working with textured plants and digging holes in the soil is a perfect sensory experience for kids and is particularly beneficial for children with special needs, as it encourages them to explore and enjoy the garden.
Be prepared for short attention spans by keeping things simple and having some extra activities up your sleeve:
- Make plant labels to mark where seeds have been planted. You can use old plastic spoons or stones to write the name or paint a picture of the plant.
- Use empty milk bottles to make great watering jugs - just pop some holes on the lid.
- Attract wildlife to your garden by making a ‘bug hotel’ with some stacked logs or by sowing wildlife-friendly plants like nasturtiums which caterpillars and butterflies love.
- Make a compost heap, explaining what can and can’t go in there.
- Ask lots of questions throughout, to keep your kids involved, like where the best places are to plant and why, and how long they think it will take to grow.
If your children love spending time outdoors, a set of child-friendly gardening tools that they can handle themselves is essential. Check out our Little Gardener's Box which comes with a ready-to-grow garden tool kit and seeds in a handy DIY carry-all.
Inspiring your children to love the world of plants and gardening can give them a hobby they will enjoy their whole life.
Whatever space you have, from a window sill to a large garden, there’s never been a better time to give your children a chance to try out their little green fingers.