Next time your kids whine, ‘I’m bored!’ hand them a watering can and invite them to join you in the garden. Kids can learn many things from gardening. Even if they don’t have a green thumb (or ever develop one) the process teaches valuable life skills that will truly help their personality bloom.
1. They develop a respect for the environment
Eco-consciousness is a pretty abstract term, even for adults. But when kids appreciate nature, and personally participate in the process of taking care of a living thing (even if it’s just planting a flower or watering a row of vegetables) then they’ll feel they can really do something for the Earth.
2. They learn patience
Nothing grows overnight. As they plant a seed, water it every day, and then see the leaves slowly sprout, they’ll learn to wait before they see the results of their labor.
3. They learn responsibility
Every child benefits from doing chores. Put them in charge of a particular row of pots or of one task. Even a toddler will feel empowered by becoming Mommy’s Little Helper: ‘Please fill the watering can with water’ or ‘Can you help me fill this pot with soil?’
4. They develop their motor skills
Gardening is ‘manual labor’ after all. Carrying pots, wielding the shovel, digging into the dirt, pulling out weeds all exercise their hand muscles.
5. They get to spend time with you
Gardening can be your bonding time, away from the usual noise of the TV or the interruptions of your cell phone. You can enjoy quiet companionship, or talk about random things while working together in the garden. For more information on getting kids into gardening, visit kidsgardening.org
Photo from gardening-experts.com