“Why Your Kids Should be Gardening”
by Angela Parker
Growing you own food is such an empowering process. To be able to say “I grew that!” can bring up so much pride and accomplishment in kids. Here are some more reasons why your kids should be gardening…
Introduces New Foods.
When kids are able to see where their food comes from and had a part in the process, they are much more likely to try is as a new food. New foods can be scary to kids. When they are able to see and have a part in growing a new food, they are much more willing to try it at the dinner table.
Fun ways to get them involved from the very beginning.
You can go to the library and look at some gardening books to get ideas of what to plant. Encourage your child to learn the best conditions needed for growing that food. You can even help your child make a map of your garden.
My daughter loves watering plants. We bought her a kid sized gardening set with a water pitcher and shovel, so she can help us plant and take care of our little garden.
Use a Garden as a Teaching Tool
As a speech therapist, I love using themes to encourage learning in various way on a single topic.
Growing a garden can include lessons in: Math, Science, History, Geography, and Language Arts.
From counting plants to sorting and organizing (even figuring out how much it cost) – you can bring math to life with a garden.
From the life cycle of a plant, to pollination, to eco-systems, there is so much you can learn about science from growing a garden.
I loved learning about Thomas Jefferson and his record keeping about growing his farm on Monticello when we visited last fall. You can find another historical figure who was known for their gardening. Or visit an active local farm for a field trip.
Making a map of your garden is a way to learn about maps and using maps for finding your way in a space.
Making list, keeping records, writing a short story about a bug or plant in your garden would be a very fun and creative Language Arts activity.
In addition to learning about gardening, kids will also learn about responsibility. When kids are able to learn how to water and care of their plants which helps them understand some responsibility. Which is a powerful life lesson in itself.
I hope this encourages you to plant a small garden with your kids to help them understand the value of sustainability and importance of growing our own food.
Do you get your kids involved in gardening? What are your tips?
Angela Parker, SLP, CCC is head writer of GrassfedMama.com. She was born and raised in Louisiana, but moved to Richmond, Va recently for a new adventure. She has been married for almost 10 years to her high school sweetheart and has two little girls: Aidalyn and Annaleigh. She’s a speech therapist by trade, but decided to be a stay at home mom while her girls are little. Her passions include health, wellness, healing through nutrition, natural medicines, cooking with whole foods, and natural parenting.