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Why You Should Get Your Kids Involved in Gardening

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Gardening is a much-loved hobby for many people. It offers a way to relax and enjoy nature while offering the satisfaction of nurturing something and watching it grow. Despite the benefits, it can be hard to find the time to maintain a garden, especially if you are taking care of a family with young children. However, the solution may be easier than you think — get your kids involved and start a family garden! With a little bit of planning and a few new gardening tools, you’ll be on your way to having some fresh lettuce for your dinner salad all while enjoying quality family time.

Gardening can have many benefits for children beyond just some family bonding (although that is one of the most important!) This blog will show you just how good gardening can be for the growth and development of your child. The following are just some of the great benefits:

Teaches Responsibility

A garden is a responsibility. Anyone that has walked outside in their pajamas at 9:00 at night with the garden hose because they forgot to water the plants, knows just what a responsibility it is. Starting and maintaining a garden will be a good lesson for your child. While there are so many fun things involved in gardening like picking out what to grow, harvesting, and eating, there are going to be some not-so-fun jobs involved as well. Being responsible means stepping up and doing the hard work so you can reap the benefits.

Encourages Healthy Eating

Maybe your child doesn’t like to eat anything green. Or, the closest thing to a fruit or vegetable they’ll eat is ketchup. Most likely, they will change their tune once they get to harvest something grown with their own two hands. Not only is there an overwhelming sense of accomplishment (how could they not eat what they just created?), but fresh produce from the garden does actually taste better than the stuff at the store or in a can!

Provides Exercise

Gardening isn’t like training for a marathon, but it’s better than sitting on the couch watching television! Digging in the dirt will get your child moving and breathing that fresh summer air. They can improve fine motor skills by pulling weeds in the garden. Or they can work those back and arm muscles by filling and carrying the watering can. Even if the task of the day doesn’t contribute that much exercise, taking care of a garden will still help with summer couch-potato syndrome.

Creates an Appreciation for the Environment

The best way to form an appreciation for something is to learn about it so that you can be grateful for what it is or what it provides. It’s easy to abuse the environment when you don’t truly appreciate all of the things it does for us. Show your child that by taking care of the water, dirt, and everything that grows in it, it will result in a plentiful harvest.

Teaches Basic Scientific Principles

If your little ones are just learning about science, gardening is a great way to teach some basic principles. Your child can learn what is required for plants to grow, and how modifying the soil, temperature, water or sunlight can affect that growth. Encourage them to experiment and try new things. Teach them how bees and other insects play a part in a successful garden. The options for using your garden as a learning tool are endless.

Demonstrates Where Food Comes From

A recent poll showed that the majority of people don’t know where their food comes from. The most popular answer was “the grocery store.” It’s shocking to think about the disconnect between a faceless building on the corner and the hard-working farmers that produce our fresh food. Teach your child where food really comes from, as well as the hard work and love it takes to make it.

Teaches Patience

Planting a garden is a lesson in patience. When you first start your garden, all you can think about it harvesting those big, plump tomatoes or those sweet, juicy melons. If you’ve ever heard of the saying “all good things take time,” you’ll know it’s the perfect motto for your garden.

Fosters Family Bonding

There are so many reasons why we don’t spend more time with family — household chores, sporting events, or most often, everyone is busy on their (insert name of favorite electronic device here). Now is the perfect time to suggest a new family activity that will get the kids off the couch and get everyone together outside. Gardening is something that everyone can do, no matter their age, fitness, or skill level. Once you start the process, tending your garden is something that everyone will look forward to and pretty soon, you won’t even have to ask.

With all of the benefits of involving kids in gardening, are you ready to go home tonight and suggest starting one? There are a few things to consider to get you started quickly, and surely help you get the buy-in of your crew.

  • Give each child their own space — This will show them you are trusting them with responsibility and are relying on them to take ownership of that space.
  • Let everyone choose their own plants — Whether they want to try growing their favorite food, or they aren’t sure what okra is, let each child choose what they want to grow.
  • Let each child have their own tools — Depending on what is age-appropriate, getting tools for each person can instill responsibility. If your little one is too little to be handling a shovel, then get them a garden wagon that they can use to hold plants, dirt or weeds.

If you’re ready to take the next step toward creating your family garden, contact Frostproof Growers Supply. We have the gardening tools and resources you need to get started today! 

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