Benefits of Gardening With Kids
After a semester interning at Good Shepard Montessori, I learned how important it is for kids to learn how to garden. Here are a few things that stood out to me these past few months.
Hands on Learning
Being in an environment that engages their senses can stimulate creative and critical thinking skills to make them question the world around them. This is different than memorizing facts or taking a standardized test. They’ll have visuals of plant life cycles, soil ecology, and ecosystems around them.
It Get’s Them Outdoors
With so many indoor distractions, “Go outside and play,” doesn’t seem to work as well as it used to. Gardening could help them get a breath of fresh air. Especially if you’re out there spending quality time with them. They’ll have a project to do with you and may want to stick around to see it succeed.
It Fine Tunes Your Own Skills
There’s no better way to become a master at a trade than to be able to teach it to others.
They’ll Probably Eat Healthier
Ron Finley is a gardener from LA and one of his famous one liners is, “Kids who grow kale eat kale.” I personally feel that it is much easier to not like eating something if you don’t know where it came from and if you didn’t grow it yourself.
(Side note: See the gardening work he has done in this TED talk! https://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la)
No More Couch Potatoes
Asides from eating healthier, they’ll be running around, moving their bodies, and using their muscles.
Plant’s take time to grow and it is not done overnight. They’ll have to practice patience in order to see results. Gardening is not always easy and it sometimes can have physically demanding labor. Getting their hands dirty can help them understand how hard work pays off in the long run. There is a sense of gratitude that is formed when kids start to understand the work that is put into growing and preparing food.
Creates Good Habits
Being exposed to nature, healthy eating, and gardening at a young age will only influence them to practice good habits in the future.
Allows Room for Conversation
When there are shovels in people’s hands, the only think left to do is dig, discuss, and debate. There aren’t too many distractions when they have to focus on their outdoor job and talking is about the only other thing that can happen. I’ve laughed, listened, verbally scolded, and sang all with a shovel in my hand.
They’ll Learn Respect
There may be things that they are doing that are new to them. They are going to look up to you for guidance and direction. Being able to show them how to do something as apposed to telling them, puts you in a respectable leadership position. (This can especially be true with adolescence ages that might get defensive with critiques and commands.)
A Civic Duty
If we want a more sustainable society, it is our responsibility to teach future generations how to do so.
Thanks for reading. And as always, happy planting!