Summer is a great time to plant a garden! Whether you are growing your own vegetables and fruit or you just have a beautiful flower garden, there are many benefits for you and your kiddos. If you have been thinking about starting a garden with your children, now is the time! If you want to start a veggie garden this year, it is best to start with already established plants, as opposed to seeds, since it is late in the season to start from scratch. Your kiddos will love helping you in the garden and will be able to benefit in many ways!

At Growing Kids Learning Centers, we offer a variety of child care programs and love finding fun and exciting ways to help children develop new skills, learn, and grow in their environments. Gardening is one way to do just that! In this blog, we are going to talk about the benefits of gardening for kids and why you should start this fun activity with your family!

Encourage Them To Eat Healthier

Do you have trouble getting your children to eat their vegetables on a regular basis? Most parents do, and while gardening isn’t going to be the magical fix, it can help! When your kids help you grow your own vegetables, they are more likely to eat them. Your kiddos will be proud that they grew their own vegetables and want to try them for themselves. Be sure to add vegetables to your garden that your kids will actually like. Once they start eating the veggies they help grow, they may begin to try other new things as well!

Teaches Them Patience

Patience is a tough lesson to teach kids, especially since they don’t want to wait for anything. But gardening is a great way to teach them that hard work pays off and that patience is a necessary skill in life. Gardening does not offer instant results; your children will have to wait weeks for the results of all their efforts. While this may be frustrating for them, it will teach them how to be patient. Your kiddos will love watching their vegetables slowly grow over the course of weeks and learn that their patience and hard work all pay off in the end.

Boosts Confidence

Growing your own vegetables can provide a huge confidence boost for you and your kids! When you garden with your child, they can feel a sense of accomplishment that will make them feel proud. Activities, such as gardening, that have an end result your child can show off, are a great way to help them build confidence. If you are looking for ways to help your child feel more confident in themselves, gardening is a great activity to try!

Engages All Five Senses

Gardening is a beautiful activity that engages and stimulates all five senses. This is a great way to teach your child about the senses and is one of the few activities that can engage all five of them! They can feel the dirt as they plant each plant, smell the scent of the dirt after watering the plants, hear the bugs buzzing and the sound of the vine snapping as you pick vegetables, see how the veggies change color as they grow, and taste them when they are done! While gardening, find different ways to engage the senses and talk about it with your kiddos!

Improve Fine Motor Skills

Gardening can also help improve your child’s fine motor skills, especially if you start with seeds. Planting seeds, gently caring for different plants, and picking veggies all require fine motor skills and is a great way to get your child to slow down and more carefully. Children have a tendency to love explosive movements, like kicking, jumping, throwing, and running, so an activity like gardening can help them slow down and be gentle with the plants.

Teaches Responsibility

Your child can also learn responsibility from gardening. Gardening and growing vegetables put them in charge of something, especially since they aren’t really responsible for themselves yet. If they forget to water their plants for a week, they will dry up; if they don’t take responsibility for their plants, they will die. While you can always help take some of the responsibility, it is best to let your child take care of their own plants, so that they learn how to be responsible for something.

Encourages a Love For Nature

When kids get to spend time outside, digging in the dirt, and watching plants grow food, they will begin to develop a love for nature. You can help teach your child about the environment, and give them a space to explore their curiosities. Gardening offers a different outdoor experience than simply playing outside. When your child is able to do something outside that really puts them in touch with their surroundings, they will begin to appreciate it more. If you care about nature and the outdoors, gardening is a great way to get your child on the same page.

Gets Them Outside and Moving

With so many screens nowadays that can keep kids distracted, getting them outside can be a challenge. Gardening is a great way to get your kiddos outside and give them a fun, educational, and unique type of activity. While kids love playing outside, gardening can provide them with a calm place to escape to when they simply want to be outside. Gardening can be a lot of work too, from hauling the watering can to digging and pulling weeds. Your child will enjoy getting outside and moving in their garden.

These are only a few of the many benefits that a garden can offer kiddos. Gardening is a great activity to do as a family and can help your child learn and develop a lot of new skills. Plus, who doesn’t love having fresh veggies every day?

While it may be late in the season to start a veggie garden from seeds, you can also buy plants that are already established and get started on a garden with your kiddos! At Growing Kids Learning Centers, we love giving parents ideas for fun and educational activities to do with their kids. Learn more about our child care programs and be sure to check out our locations throughout Indiana to find a school near you! Contact us with any questions you may have.