Gardening with Children
It is nearing the time when we might think about outdoor projects such as gardening with our children. (Or at least we are hoping it is nearing that time!) Children learn a lot from gardening and even more from doing something out in nature with their parents. Gardeners learn to care for other things. They feel the pleasure of being tired from a day of hard work and being outside. Gardeners learn patience and satisfaction when they are able to reap their harvest. Container gardens are a simple way to garden if you don't have a lot of space or want to invest a bit less time. Many vegetables, like cherry tomatoes, grow well in a container garden. Flowers do well also. You can even have fun and plant a fairy garden.
Gardening is good for the brain. It makes children think about nature and how it is interconnected. You can go to the botanical gardens to supplement your plant learning or do photography and keep a photo journal of your plants.
Gardening is good for the body. There is some thought that being in dirt actually increases a child's immunity and overall health. Digging, hauling, watering, and all the things associated with gardening are good for the body as it is meaningful exercise.
Gardening is good for the soul. Kids need time to connect with nature and family. They need to be outside and away from electronics and screens. Gardening can give a sense of purpose and show children respect for other living things. Being in nature has been shown to be a mood booster and anxiety decrease. There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment that can be felt as you eat or share what you have grown in your garden.
*Idea suggested from "Gardening with Kids: How it Affects Your Child's Brain, Body, and Soul" by Nimali Fernando and Melanie Potock. PBS.org