Updated: 5/22/18 Gardening provides a great opportunity for kids to play and grow, and can be a powerful tool in teaching children about nutrition. With a little effort, you can create your very own garden at home! The benefits of gardening are endless for kids, and encouraging healthy eating at home sets children up for a healthy future.
Benefits of Gardening with Kids:
1. Gardening is a great learning experience for children. Creating and maintaining a garden teaches kids about plant science, weather and nature.
2. It encourages healthy eating by showing kids how fresh food is grown and then prepared into meals. Children become invested in food that they garden themselves and have a sense of pride in the foods they have created, making them more likely to eat these healthy options.
3. It teaches responsibility and the importance of caring for the environment. It also teaches skills such as patience, planning and organizing.
4. Gardening promotes physical activity. Without realizing they are "exercising", kids are able to get physical activity by being outdoors weeding, planting and watering.
5. It's fun! Kids love digging in soil and getting dirty. Gardening is also a great activity to spend time as a family.
Tips for Gardening with Kids:
1. Keep it simple! Try planting a small bed of soil, or grow fruits and vegetables in an existing landscape in your yard. If you don't have a lot of space or available land for growing, use small pots with soil for cherry tomatoes or fresh herbs. Use a trellis to grow vegetables like peas and beans.
2. Use lightweight, easy, and small garden tools and equipment to keep children safe.
3. Make a scarecrow. Work with your children to create a fun, and creative version of a scarecrow for the garden.
4. Select fast growing vegetables and brightly colored flowers to keep the attention of children.
Does your school or neighborhood may have a community garden?