Why gardening is so good for children.
Well, to start with, it feels obvious that an easy way to develop a love of nature is to be out there in the thick of it, and many children experience this by having fun in the garden. But there are some additional benefits to encouraging children to garden from an early age – and they might not be what you’d think.
Firstly, it seems that gardening helps children to develop their leadership skills and contributes to children feeling more confident. By taking responsibility for growing a plant – a living thing – children are encouraged to act capably, which in turn engenders a feeling of competence.
Given that gardening is quite an organised and logical activity, requiring an understanding of cause and effect (too much or not enough water, light etc.), problem-solving (what plant where, how to protect it etc.) and thinking ahead (a hosepipe ban is coming etc.), it ties in with a lot of STEM subject skills. It’s even possible that gardening can positively affect a child’s academic performance – in fact there is research to suggest that children who do gardening are more capable when it comes to maths.
Obviously, being outside in the open air and engaging in a physical activity is good for strength – and growing and eating fruit and veg helps to instil healthy eating habits and good nutritional understanding.
So, if you start with low-effort, high-reward flowers and veg, make sure that the garden is safe, and get out there and do it with them, the rewards of gardening for children can be a win-win for everyone.
The Willow Wand: beautiful living art for your garden.
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