Gardening is a naturally therapeutic activity that many enjoy. But it’s something that must be learned and what better time to teach children than when they are young! Teaching your child about gardening and how to garden will bond you both in a new way and add another element of fun all while teaching your child about nature.
We fully encourage exploration so don’t be afraid for your child to get dirty while gardening. Even if your young one can’t fully understand the concept of gardening, just getting he or she acclimated with a shovel and some dirt is a great way to get started – Let them dig and get messy!
Some Things Your Child Will Learn:
· More social skills through interacting with you, your spouse, and other children (if applicable)
· The correlation between nature and science through plant exploration
· Math skills while scooping dirt and/or counting seeds
· Being creative by keeping a gardening journal (if applicable)
· How to get messy and have fun at the same time
We know not everyone has the time to have a big garden so don’t get anxious thinking that’s the only way to teach your child about gardening. It can be as simple as planting one type of plant, seed, or bulb, simply digging in dirt, or caring for a house plant.
Create a Safe Environment
Always remember, safety first! Only choose plants that are safe for children (not poisonous if accidentally consumed) and knowing what’s what in the potting soil you'll be using. Read all labels carefully, do your research before purchasing, and ask for assistance from your local gardening center or nursery. Avoid certain seeds that may be harmful for children as well. Again, your local nursery can help with this. All gardening activities, water usage, and any tool usage should be well-supervised.
Teaching your child about nature and how to care for it is vital to their development. Parents, you are raising the next generation and helping your child understand their role and impact on the environment is something your child will carry forever. Gardening allows your child to develop a positive relationship to the earth and all living things on – and in – it! Show them to be caring to bugs and critters as well as it being okay to get dirty while exploring and learning. You are your child’s role model so it’s important to take an active role in gardening or whatever activity you have planned. Children will only be as interested as their parents are so don’t act put off by getting dirty or exploring in nature. If you are put off, children will be put off. If it’s your child’s first experience with nature, they need to learn from you how to appreciate and love it!
Figure out what kind of gardening experience you’d like to partake in with your child and go from there. Start planning and decide if you can offer a daily, weekly, or monthly commitment to your gardening activity. Once you decide, it’s time to start digging and have some fun!