Creative Child

Benefits of Gardening with Kids

by Sarah Lyons

The warmer months have arrived and, if your family is anything like mine, you are ready to spend as much time outside as possible soaking up the sun and enjoying nature. Spending time outside in the sunshine is sure to lighten the mood but using the outdoor time to plant flowers and vegetables can be rewarding for your entire family.

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Family bonding time

Gardening is a great way to get kids involved in a project the whole family can do together. Planting flowers and vegetables gives everyone a chance to set aside electronics and spend time enjoying time outside while working on a family project. You will have a chance to see your kids explore new sensations as they dig in the dirt, plant seeds, and water. The best family bonding usually happens when everyone is working on a shared goal.

Educational

Gardening is a great way to teach your kids about nature, science, and math. They will learn how plants grow, names of plants, how to measure how far apart to plant seeds, and how to protect your garden. You could take the lessons one step farther and check out books from the library about gardening, watch an educational video about gardening, or visit a community garden to learn more about plants and flowers. Some families also find that starting a compost bin helps teach their kids about the environment and how our waste effects it. The compost gives your garden a natural boost as well reducing waste.

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Gardening teaches life lessons

In the process of starting and caring for your garden your child will have the opportunity to learn the value of hard work, the importance of patience while waiting for their seeds to grow, the responsibility of caring for the garden each day, and will be rewarded with the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor. The best life lessons often happen when you don’t know you are learning them.

Encourages healthy eating habits

The best reason to plant and take care of a garden is the reward of tasting your crop. Kids who would not normally try tomatoes, bell peppers, or cucumbers will be much more likely to give them a try if they have planted, cared for, and watched them grow themselves. Cultivating a love of eating healthy fruits and vegetables at a young age is a great way to encourage lifelong healthy eating habits.

No one will tell you that planting and caring for a garden is easy but most will say it is well worth the effort when you are able to harvest your own fresh produce or flowers to enjoy.

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

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