Gardening with Children

Charlotte Thompson, 15 Dec 2016
Gardening allows children to learn responsibility, self-confidence, creativity, cooperation, reasoning and discovery. They gain an appreciation of their natural environment and an understanding of patterns and life cycles. Gardening can create a platform for maths, science and art as well as establishing a respect for growing your own produce and valuing where your food comes from. Gardening is a healthy, fun activity for children. Children develop new skills and learn about science and nature from growing their own food. There is a variety of interesting activities children can be involved in, such as planting, mulching, weeding and cooking.
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Children learn from growing things Children will have lots of fun and gain special benefits from participating in gardening activities. Gardening is educational and develops new skills including:
  • Responsibility– from caring for plants
  • Understanding– as they learn about cause and effect (for example, plants die without water, weeds compete with plants)
  • Self-confidence – from achieving their goals and enjoying the food they have grown
  • Love of nature – a chance to learn about the outdoor environment in a safe and pleasant place
  • Reasoning and discovery – learning about the science of plants, animals, weather, the environment, nutrition and simple construction
  • Physical activity – doing something fun and productive
  • Cooperation– including shared play activity and teamwork
  • Creativity– finding new and exciting ways to grow food
  • Nutrition – learning about where fresh food comes from
scarecrow-2 Activities in the garden Choose activities that suit the child’s age. Suggestions include:
  • Watering the garden
  • Digging
  • Picking flowers
  • Planting vegetables, fruits and flowers in the correct season
  • Feeding the worms and using the ‘worm tea’ from the worm farm as fertiliser
  • Picking vegetables and fruits when they are ready to eat
  • Preparing healthy food, such as making salads and preparing school lunches
  • Craft activities using harvested seeds, plants and flowers
  • Composting, recycling and mulching
  • Weeding
  • Gathering seeds and dried flowers
  • Deadheading flowers
  • Preparing the soil with organic fertiliser
  • Replanting and re-potting
gardening-day-4 Gardening crops that are easy to grow, have short growing seasons, and are fun to harvest
  • Sunflower seeds- brings height and colour to the garden; roast seeds for healthy snacks and keep some to plant next year.
  • Lettuce/ Mescluns- they grow quickly and in a variety of colours and shapes. A great way for kids to connect with salad.
  • Radishes- write your child’s name in the soil and sow the radish seeds into the markings, 3-4 days later the name will sprout out of the ground!
  • Snow peas- you don’t need a trellis to grow them up and with edible pods they can be enjoyed straight off the plant.
  • Cherry Tomatoes- colourful, fun and tasty. Can be grown in pots if space is limited.
  • Carrots- can be sown directly into the soil. Small/colourful varieties available and fun to eat.
garden Images in this post are from the monthly Gardening Day at Young Academics Elderslie. 

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