Encourages Healthy Eating
Eating healthy food is vital for brain and body development but it can be hard at times to get kids to eat those fruits and veggies. By having them grow their own string beans, carrots and lettuce, they will have a sense of pride in eating what they have “created.” This, in turn, will emphasize the importance of healthy eating. Kids will soon learn to love eating strawberries, blueberries and even broccoli!
Engages All the Senses
Kids learn best when engaging all their senses. With gardening, kids can touch and feel the dirt, seeds and flowers, see the vibrant colors and sizes of the plants, hear the sound of the vegetable when it is taken from the plant and smell the amazing scents of the flowers.
Enhances Fine Motor Development
Most kids LOVE to get their hands and feet in the dirt. Scooping up the dirt, placing the seeds in the pots and pouring the water all take fine motor control and strength. As kids garden, they develop important motor skills that will help them improve their academic skills such as writing, cutting and typing.
Enhances Gross Motor Development
These days all kids could benefit from a little more physical activity and sunshine they’ll get while gardening. Activities like moving soil, carrying a heavy watering can, digging in the dirt and pushing a wheelbarrow can promote gross motor skills and overall strength for a more fit body.
Introduces Kids to Science and Math Concepts
Gardening is a wonderful introduction into the world of science especially botany, biology and chemistry. When kids plant their first seeds they become curious about what will happen next.Why do the plants need sun? How does the plant “drink” water? Why are worms good for the plants? Soon you will be talking about soil composition, photosynthesis and more! Add a little math while gardening by measuring how much plants are growing from week to week or counting the flowers on each plant.
Gardening is a great way to teach kids about responsibility. Kids learn that they have to take care of their seeds each day in order for them to become healthy plants. To help, you can make a checklist that kids can use to make sure they care for their plant every day.
Teaches the Importance of Taking Care of the Environment
When kids garden, they realize how important it is to take care of the Earth if they want their garden to grow and produce healthy plants. It creates the perfect opportunity for children to learn about concepts such as pollution, pesticides and recycling.
Kids are used to immediate gratification; however, gardening is often a slow process. Kids have to learn to be patient when waiting for their flowers and vegetables to grow. The waiting actually makes the moment the flower or vegetable sprouts even more exciting!