Kids’ Gardening

by

Cultivating Food and Life Lessons

Just as with learning to walk, children learn best by doing rather than by watching. Gardening with kids is filled with exploration, education and fun which allows them to experience things firsthand and participate in active learning.

Working in a garden inspires creativity, develops nurturing skills, and empowers kids to make choices, thus giving them a sense of pride in their accomplishments. The learning opportunities that come from gardening reach beyond the backyard. In the most literal sense, a garden is a science lab that cultivates curiosity about nature, horticulture, and wildlife. More broadly, gardening is a holistic activity in which children make connections between the different things they learn and they can then apply those lessons to other things in life.

Planting Curiosity and Cultivating Empowerment

To empower kids, let them have a say in which plants are used and involve them in choosing projects and creating gardening plans. Gardening provides many opportunities for engaging kids. By planting, designing, and maintaining the garden, children learn responsibility. By harvesting, cooking, and sharing the food they’ve grown, they learn about where food comes from and nutrition, and they develop healthy eating habits. As kids work together in groups, they learn important life skills, such as cooperating and sharing ideas. For urban kids, garden activities offer a connection to nature that might be in short supply amid a city’s concrete and steel.

Educational Opportunities Beyond the Garden

Gardening provides a good opportunity to learn problem-solving and math skills, including counting, geometry, percentages, and data gathering. Kids begin learning these skills as they measure the garden plot and designate shapes for various growing areas. Children can learn numbers and practice basic counting skills by counting the seeds needed and the number of plants that sprout in those spots. Older children can collect data and create charts and graphs to keep track of things in their gardens.

In addition to learning about nature and food origins and establishing healthy eating habits, research shows that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

Give your family a healthy start!!

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