Nurturing nature at a tender age: How kids benefit from gardening
Fresh air and proximity to nature has innumerable benefits. Nature allows one to explore and experience different sounds, textures, sights and colors. Gardening is one such activity that is fun and brings one closer to nature. Introducing children to gardening has many benefits. Here are a few:
- Encourages healthy eating: If you and your kid are growing some vegetables and fruits in your garden, you can pique your kid’s interest in eating them. The taste of fresh homegrown produce is delicious and will encourage healthy diet in kids. Most vegetables that go into salads, like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and a few leafy vegetables are easy and quick to grow. Involving children in the process of growing these can get them to try different vegetables. Also, if they have a favorite vegetable or fruit, maybe they can grow it themselves. Gardening can thus nourish the body and the mind.
- Develops motor skills: Gardening activities require fine motor movements like whole-hand grasping and the pincer grasp (necessary skills for writing). It also can help develop object control and locomotor skills. A garden is full of sensory stimulation. The texture of the soil, the colors in the garden, the taste of the freshly plucked harvest, and the smell of the fresh earth can be soothing for the children. Of course, appropriate clothes can add to the comfort your little gardener is experiencing.
- Let your hair down and get your hands dirty: Messy is healthy. The healthy microbes in the mud can build up your child’s resistance power. Keep some comfy fuss-free kids’ clothes for such activities. Ensure that they are machine washable so that you don’t have to worry about the stains.
- Family time: Gardening can help you have stimulating conversations with your kids, triggering their cognitive development. Ask them open-ended questions like ‘what would you like to plant next in the garden?’ Walk them through the process of gardening from tilling the soil to plucking the harvest. Teach them the basic anatomy of plants. Mark the plants with their botanical names. Get as creative as you can! Also, time spent gardening is great quality time with your little ones.
- Teaches empathy and patience: Loving to grow things can imbibe the quality of empathy in a young child. Your kid can proudly see the tangible results of hard work and the art of patiently waiting for rewards. What a beautiful life-lesson it can be for the young mind. Also, your child is learning to be environmentally conscious at a tender age.
At Greendigo, we believe that the greatest gift we can give our children is a healthy environment. So, right from reusable packaging to 100% certified organic clothing , we are doing our bit. With every order, we send a note on plantable seed paper. Planting this seed paper is yet another fun, engaging activity with your little one.
Be it a few pots in the balcony or a garden in the backyard, introduce your child to the wonderful world of gardening. Let mother nature become their best friend, for it is sure to pay rich dividends in the days to come.