Having a Garden Can Help Your Child Grow Physically and Mentally
Throughout the years, people have been looking for ways to be healthier and live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Gardening is one of the best ways to add some healthiness to our hectic lifestyles. Parents are also realizing that passing the idea of gardening onto their children can help them to live healthier lifestyles as they grow into adults. While it can be challenging at times, teaching our children how to grow their own foods can help them both physically and mentally in different ways.
The garden doesn’t have to be miles long like you see when driving in the country, a simple garden that is as small as 2 ft. by 2ft. can help your child learn about the aspects of gardening and living healthy. Don’t worry you do not need to be the jolly green giant to plant a garden, turn it into a project that you and your child can do together. The ten ways listed below can help your child grown both mentally and physically from simply planting a garden.
The number one reason to plant a garden is for the health aspects. We all know that fresh produce is healthier than anything you can find on the supermarket shelves. The benefits of fresh produce far outweigh the benefits of canned goods. There are no preservatives, no ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, and no artificial flavors or artificial anything. A fresh, juicy, just-picked tomato is just a fresh, juicy, just-picked tomato that tastes even better because your child had a hand in making it that way. The vitamins, minerals, nutrients of fresh vegetables have been proven to help boost the brains health, the body’s health, cognitive functions, and so much more.
It’s Physically Rewarding
While you wouldn’t think it, gardening is good exercise. A garden involves weeding, planting, digging, walking, bending, all good exercises. You can’t just toss a bunch of seeds outside, throw a bucket of water on them every once in a while, and expect them to grow—it doesn’t work that way. It does take some work on on their part to make sure the garden prospers, leading your child to understand responsibility, and it can be very much worth it in the end both physically and mentally.
It Teaches Responsibility
Having a garden teaches your child the art of being responsible. In order for the garden to grow delicious foods, it needs to be taken care of. This way your child understands that in order for those pretty, cherry tomatoes to grow and be edible, they have to be watered, weeded, and fertilized. What kid wouldn’t want a taste of what they grew? It also helps their brain by allowing them to ask questions as they watch something they planted actually grow right in front of their eyes. Questions like why do some plants need more sun than others? How do plants ‘drink’ the water? Why are worms or caterpillars good for leaves? Some studies have even shown that children that participated in gardening scored higher in Science than those children that haven’t.
It Gets Them Out of the House
Video games, computers, tablets, technology, are all items that children should take a break from everyday, gardening can help. Their garden isn’t going to grow if they stay inside all day and don’t tend to the delicate plants every day. Not to mention being outside in the fresh air and in the sunshine helps to keep them calm and focused because this is their project and they will not want it to fail. Plus, kids love to get their hands dirty, what better way to do it than digging in the garden and keeping it looking nice? The added benefit of being outside is that it helps your child’s immune system to block out some viruses or diseases. Fresh air is also known to raise energy levels, improved digestion, cleaner lungs, and overall health, something we all want for our children.
It Can Make Lasting Memories
Making memories that last a lifetime are also a big part of showing your child how to garden. Just like taking them fishing or vacations are all ways to make memories that will last a lifetime. They can even pass it onto their children in the future.
They Appreciate Their Food More
A well-known fact is that a lot of children do not like vegetables. The reasons vary, but with your child growing their garden and tasting the vegetables or spices that they grew with their own two hands can help them appreciate their food more, and ultimately they will show a deeper respect of what taking care of our planet and environment can do. They created it, they watched it prosper, now they can taste their creation and enjoy it more because it’s something they worked for and can be proud of.
It Develops Self-esteem
Self-esteem from growing a garden? Well, of course. Eating that perfectly green, juicy cucumber that they actually helped grow gives them pride and self-esteem. If they can grow a delicious vegetable, what else can they do when they put their minds to it? The options are endless and the pride you’ll see on their faces after they create something the whole family can enjoy will be priceless.
It Brings the Family Together
While it may sound corny, families in this day and age do not sit down to dinner enough with each other. One member will sit on the couch, one at the computer, etc., etc. But with your child gardening and knowing that the wares from their hard work are on the dinner table at night, will make them more excited to actually eat at the dinner table with the family simply because it’s their food that is being served and they will seek appreciation for their hard work. Thus, leading to family togetherness, something that should be served up often.
It Fosters Teamwork
Showing your child how to grow a garden and keep if plentiful can also teach them about teamwork, which is an activity we all engage in one way or another. Teamwork can help them understand how working with others can benefit everyone involved. It can help teach them about pulling their own weight as they grow older, get married, have children, and have meaningful relationships.
Gardening can be a beneficial activity for you, your child, and the whole family not just for the items listed here, but for many other reasons as well. We hope that we’ve touched on some of the main points of how gardening can help your child grow mentally and physically. If you have any other great ideas on how it can help, please be sure to let us know, we’d love to hear from you.