Wonderful Reasons to Garden with Your Children - Squire's Garden Centres

Wonderful Reasons to Garden with Your Children

Gardening is a wonderful pastime for adults providing a whole range of benefits. From lowering stress and blood pressure to increasing our overall wellbeing both mentally and physically. The great news: it’s just as fantastic for children. Perhaps even more beneficial throughout their developing years when in today’s world technology often takes centre stage in their lives – whether Xboxes or Playstations or social media – keeping them inside more often. Gardening can be a great way to occupy children’s minds away from the screens, getting them much needed fresh air and learning about how things grow, just enjoying nature, and feeling happier. They can also learn lots of transferable skills from gardening too, gain confidence, learn a sense of responsibility, discover more about nature, and together throughout it all you’ll make many lovely memories to reminisce on.

The Bountiful Benefits of Gardening for Kids

There are so many amazing benefits of gardening with children. Not only can it get them outside they’ll also connect more with nature, it will help their confidence and development, teach lots of lessons and give new knowledge along the way. It’s also a great way for the younger generation to bond more with parents, grandparents, and other family members, passing on experience and creating lots of memories. Here are some of the great reasons to get gardening more with the kids!

Developing their Minds

Gardening is a multi-sensory and confidence building experience. It engages all the senses and like adults can improve a child’s memory, cognitive functions, and even social interactions. By getting their hands dirty and planting seeds, kids are experiencing something first-hand (often with dirty hands), learning new concepts of growth and change in an enjoyable manner, seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and even tasting the natural world around them. They’ll be exposed to an abundance of new words and their meanings too. Most important of all though, the self-esteem and excitement a child gets from eating their own home-grown tomato is priceless.

Developing Motor and Movement Skills

When gardening, you’re constantly moving around lifting this, digging that, planting a seed or plug, and tidying up in the end. Letting children dig their own little hole, put in some soil, then place some seeds and patting them in is a great way for them to strengthen the small muscles in their hands and develop better coordination. If they’re at school ask them to write labels for the plants, fruit, and vegetables around the garden.

Teaching Patience

Gardening with children does not provide instant gratification and that’s a good thing. Gardening and planting teach children to anticipate and appreciate the passage of time with the expected reward to come later. From the waiting for the first seeds and bulbs to sprout, to the daily watering and care, to watching the plant grow and eventually yield its fruits, gardening instils a sense of patience, effort, and the rewards to come. It can be quite exciting for them to see the fruits of their labour and love pay off.

Teaching Responsibility

Taking care of a plant, being the person who ensures it thrives, helps children to build a connection to nature that encourages stewardship and responsibility, especially if they have their own little patch. The lesson that they are accountable for something that’s alive teaches empathy and encourages them to spend more time in the garden caring for it. A far cry from the latest first-person shooter video game that’s for sure, and much better for them.

Environmental Awareness

Gardening lays a foundation of understanding the environment as children get an up-close look at the ecosystem necessary for plant life. As time goes on, they begin to see the connections between the soil, water, sun, air, and animal life like pollinators and birds that sustains life and learn about the delicate balance that must be maintained. As they get older this can touch upon sustainability too, learning about how to compost with organic material, conserve water and reduce waste.

Shows Where Food Comes From

Children generally have absolutely no idea where food comes from, and don’t always appreciate what wasting food means. By growing some fruit and veg, young gardeners will be able to see directly where fruits and vegetables come from, how they grow, and what it takes to care for them. So this is a great way to help them appreciate their food more, and also connect it to the delicate balance of our ecosystem. Children that see some of their own food being grown are also more likely to want to try it, so a perfect idea if you’ve been trying to get them to eat more greens or fruits.

Shared Accomplishments and Learning

The best part of gardening with your children is undoubtedly the shared bonds and the shared learning. From life lessons like hard work leads to growth, and the little wins of planting that first seed, parents and children can learn alongside each other. It’s a powerful way to connect through something that in itself is a metaphor for life. Other family members like grandparents with green thumbs can get involved too making it a fun multi-generational experience.

Easy Garden Project Ideas for Kids

To get children into gardening, it pays to know some small age-appropriate projects to help start the process during the spring and summer months:

Picking their Own Tools

Help foster their interest in gardening from the start by picking their own tools, such as gardening gloves, trowel, and little spade to use on their own small patch. This gives them the independence to get stuck into the soil and planting, and we know children love to dig in the dirt!

Plant a Sunflower

What kid doesn’t love a big sunflower? They’re great for kids to grow because they are quite robust, grow quickly, and are very tall and bright creating quite a spectacle in the garden for them to enjoy. When the sunflowers bloom, they’ll reveal lots of sunflower seeds to pick and eat too! Or they can be left out for the birds.

Plant a Tree

Tree planting is a great way to get them interest as often they are excited to know a tree is usually going to live for at least 100 years. They’ll see it grow alongside them year after year and be able to recall the time the family got together to plant it.

Plant some Strawberries

Strawberries are almost universally loved by children, especially when paired with cream or in sweet treats (who doesn’t love that). They are easy to grow in pots or in a bed, taste delicious fresh, and will be an exciting journey for children as they watch them turn from flowers after being pollinated into lovely strawberries!

Plant a Colourful Container

Containers or pots are great because they can pick it themselves, paint it, add in the compost, then choose and add small established flowers and plug plants. This is a great idea because you can do this in an afternoon, creating something faster for them than some other gardening jobs, perfect for hooking them in as a start.

Plant a Salad Pot

Another idea for pots or containers but get the salad seeds going instead. Soon they’ll have a little bounty of fresh lettuce, rocket, and more to pick and enjoy. Salad isn’t the most exciting thing for a child, but growing and eating their own will really excite them.

Make a Pot Pond

These are super quick to do, and the kids will love the water aspect. Just get a good-sized pot or container, that’s watertight (if not you can add pond liner) and fill it with some gravel and rocks so the little creatures and animals that will visit have somewhere to rest, and also get in and out of the pot with. Fill it with gathered rainwater preferably, but if not tap water with a treatment to make it pond safe. Then add one or two pond plants that will oxygenate the water keeping it clean. A lightly shaded spot is best for the pot, and after some time it will attract lots of wildlife for them to watch.

The Joys and Benefits of Gardening with your Kids

Lots of great ideas there! As you can see gardening is an experience that can help children grow, gain new skills, and contribute to their physical and mental wellbeing. It’s also a bonding experience that can create to lifelong memories. Whether it’s the first time a seed they planted sprouts through the soil, or a particularly daunting worm they’ve encountered, to the first strawberry they’ve picked in the garden, these are experiences that both child and parent will cherish. There are so many ways to get started gardening with them, but whatever you choose by involving them from the start will make them more invested and engaged with the whole process. Creating a small, defined space for a child’s garden is a great way to make them feel invested and responsible. A simple raised bed or a few pots can serve as their patch where they have control over the plants. This kind of autonomy can be empowering for a child, and it is delighting for parents to watch them take charge. Good luck with it and above all have fun!


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