Gardening is a wonderful activity for your child to take part in. It doesn't matter what size your garden is (or even if you have a garden at all!) there are gardening activities to suit every age of child. Find out how gardening supports your child's learning and development.
Communication and vocabulary
Consider the many questions and conversations that can take place as a child digs into the soil and finds a worm or observes the seeds they planted beginning to sprout. Gardening provides rich opportunities to learn new vocabulary.
For many children spending time in the outdoors and carrying out gardening experiences supports them with their emotions, improves their mood and decreases levels of anxiety. Gardening is a great well-being boost!
The science behind gardening often fascinates young children as they learn to understand processes of growth, cause and effect, the impacts of nature and where fruit and vegetables come from.
A sense of pride
There is no greater sense of self-esteem for children than sampling an home grown crop such as eating carrots with a roast dinner or adding a selection of herbs and spices to a curry. Children take pride in knowing their care, consistency and patience supported them in achieving the goal and in future will develop perseverance and determination.
Fine and gross motor skills
The physicality of gardening also provides great benefits to children. Watch as they develop gross motor skills from using a spade and bucket to dig in the soil, use a wheel barrow, or carry a watering can. Not only this, but the fine motor skills developed by gardening, as children gently sow their seeds, create labels for the produce within the garden and pick their ripe crops.
Gardening provides children with a sense of responsibility whether children plant herbs in a pot for the windowsill or tend to a plot in the garden. Understanding that they need to take care of and look after what they have planted also supports children’s understanding of cause and effect.
Using tools safely
Children also begin to understand the use and purpose of tools through gardening as they explore spades, rakes and watering cans, learning how to use these with care and respect.
Lots of gardening projects will be done over a period of time as seed and plants take time to grow. This will support children's understanding of the passing of time and growth. It will also help them to develop skills such as patience as they wait for their plants to grow!
Lots of mathematical concepts are explored while gardening. These include counting out seeds, looking at full and empty as you scoop in compost and measuring how much plants have grown as well as understanding concepts related to time.
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