As a parent, you know that being outdoors has great benefits for your child. You’ve also likely heard that gardening has a vast range of positive effects. But here’s something you may not know: you can put the two together! Gardening with your child is highly beneficial for children of all ages, providing teachable moments and opportunities to grow. Here are six ways that gardening with your child will profit you both.
Children often learn better while doing, and gardening is a chance for all sorts of learning. From the science of plants to counting and measurement, gardening offers your child various opportunities to learn about life. Try to schedule gardening with your child when you are not rushed so you can stop and absorb the process. In this way, you can take time to explore and discover all the bugs, rocks, and other treasures that are present.
Fine Motor Development
There are many different parts of gardening with your child that offer extra fine motor practice. Scooping the dirt and carefully placing seeds or seedlings takes control and accuracy. Watering and packing the dirt requires strength. These simple skills may seem trivial at the moment, but they encourage lifelong abilities that are essential for later skills like writing, cutting, using utensils, and typing.
Small children love to feel needed, and gardening with your child is an excellent opportunity for them to take responsibility. As you create your gardening space, look for a space that can be “theirs.” Whether you ask them to weed and water or simply watch the plants carefully, with promoting their help the feeling of ownership will boost your child’s self-esteem and interest. As your child works by your side on their own corner of the garden, your child learns responsibility and consistency from your example.
Getting in Touch with What You Eat
Research shows that growing healthy foods makes people far more likely to eat them. If you have the ability to grow plants that produce food, it gives your child the opportunity to connect to their food. While a tomato from the supermarket may taste similar to one grown at home, the fruit tended in your own garden will hold far more allure for your young child. Additionally, your garden is a great place for your child to connect the dots between a seed, a plant, and the fruits and vegetables we eat.
Teaching Planning and Patience
Waiting isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s part of life. Gardening with your child provides a natural lesson on the virtue of patience. But waiting isn’t the only lesson your little one will learn! As you begin and care for your garden, there will be lots of planning and care involved. Through this process, your child can practice planning skills including time management, spacing, menu plans, and more.
Drawing Your Family Together
There are many ways to spend time together as a family. Playing games, traveling, reading, and other pastimes give you unity and make memories. When it comes to gardening, a family working together lightens the load. With everyone involved, the work is spread more evenly and the hard parts take less time. At the same time, gardening with your child creates good memories around tending the earth and harvesting delicious food. Then, these memories translate into healthier life choices in the future.
Gardening with your child is more than just a chore done side-by-side. Instead, it is an investment: an investment in your relationship with your child, in their future values, and in your family’s well-being. Even if your gardening is as simple as a few flower seeds in a pot, that small act will grow into something more meaningful and beautiful than you can imagine! And if you are looking for childcare in the Greenville area that supports these values, consider Legacy Academy Greenville. Call or visit today for more information.