We’re all aware of the benefits of fresh air and the outdoors, but did you know involving children in simple gardening practices has a range of benefits too?
Gardening can benefit children of all ages as it provides a great opportunity for children to learn, and equips them with critical skills which can help them in other areas of their lives. Below are some of the main benefits children can experience by helping out in the garden.
Gardening can heighten all senses in children. They can feel the dirt, flowers, fruit, leaves and seeds, see the vibrant colours and sizes of plants, hear the sound of leaves rustling and fruit/vegetables being picked and smell the flowers, fruits and herbs fresh. Best of all, they can taste the outcome of their hard work! By engaging all five senses, gardening can help children to better understand the process of gardening and where their food comes from.
Undertaking a gardening project can teach responsibility to children, as they learn that it is their job to take care of their seeds and plants each day in order for them to be healthy. By creating a checklist for children to run through each day, they can get a better understanding of the role they play in taking care of plants.
Motor Skill Development
Gardening requires children to practice and hone in on their fine motor skills. Planting seeds, scooping dirt and watering plants all help to improve motor skills, which can in term help to improve their concentration and learning capabilities.
Promote Healthy Eating
Getting children to eat their fruits and vegetables can sometimes be a challenge. When they are involved in every step of the process, however, they are more likely to gain a sense of ownership and pride over their healthy eating choices.
Introduction to Science & Math
There are so many parts of gardening which introduce children to basic concepts of science and math. Math concepts can include counting seeds, measuring soil depth and counting petals/leaves. Science concepts can include the sprouting process and gaining an understanding of how plants require sunlight and water for growth.
In addition to these wonderful benefits from gardening, the process teaches children to be patient. The waiting time for a vegetable to be ready to pick, or for a flower to open up, will make the moment even more exciting.
At Lifelong Learning Centres across Australia
, children are encouraged to get involved in plant, vegetable & herb garden development. Some centres even use the freshly grown herbs and vegetables in their meals!
For more information or to book a tour at a Lifelong Learning Centre, call 1800 CHILD CARE
or visit lll.edu.au