Jul 11 , 2020
You don’t need endless acres of land or a sprawling backyard to grow your own fresh produce. Home gardening is a super satisfying activity that any family in the city, suburbs, or countryside will enjoy. Your preschooler can even get in on the fun of gardening and learn all about the wonders of nature while planting seeds or digging holes with you at home.
It’s no secret that kids benefit a lot from spending some time outdoors. Preschoolers, toddlers, and infants can get some much needed Vitamin D and learn all about the natural world’s unique wonders when they walk around in your backyard. Here are some reasons to try gardening at home with your little one.
1. It’s a great learning tool
The best way to build a child’s cognitive skills is to simply let them explore, touch, and play. When kids spend some time in the garden they get to learn about the different textures of grass, trees, and crops through touch and sight. They can also learn all about colors, shapes, and sizes when they look at bright and beautiful flowerbeds. Science and botany lovers will also rejoice when their kids learn how to observe how plants grow from tiny seeds into gorgeous fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Gardening also helps kids build the essential skill of problem-solving. As kids spend more and more time in the garden, they learn how to move obstacles out of the way and stop tripping over pebbles. Preschoolers will even get to learn the importance of pulling out weeds and calling their parents for help when a bee starts to buzz nearby.
2. It builds their motor skills
Kids need to build their essential motor skills before they can move on to bigger tasks. If a preschooler doesn’t have a chance to develop fine motor skills like the pincer grasp or wrist control, he won’t have an easy time doing important activities like typing or writing homework later on in life.
Home gardening is a great way to help kids develop strength, coordination, and vital motor skills at an early age. Since gardening requires kids to grasp trowels, dig holes, and wander around the garden, it encourages them to develop fine motor skills needed for writing essays, cooking, and many other daily tasks. Your kids will also get to strengthen various groups of muscles, as well as improve their hand-eye coordination, simply by bending over, picking up objects, and moving back and forth around your own backyard.
You can still help your kids develop essential motor skills even while growing indoor gardens. If you plan on growing herbs in your kitchen, try letting your kids play around with a dropper. This can help them learn to control their fingers and wrists, as well as grasp tiny objects. You can also ask them to carry small plants to sunny windows in order to build their muscles and improve their skill at carrying objects. To teach the pincer grasp, let them squeeze and hold small sponges. Curious and excited kids are sure to learn a lot even just from one day of gardening!
3. It helps them deal with emotions and people
Emotions aren’t easy to deal with at any age. Babies often become exposed to new and confusing feelings as they grow older and experience various situations. Toddlers can become faced with frustration and disappointment when things don’t go their way, and preschoolers may end up feeling quite lonely or anxious during their first few days at preschool.
Of course, emotions aren’t the only problem young ones have to deal with. There’s also the confusing and scary task of meeting new people. Even before school starts, your toddler will need to learn how to meet other adults and play with other people nicely. Thankfully, home gardening provides several opportunities for kids to build their much needed socio-emotional skills.
Growing flowers and crops together is a great way to help toddlers and preschoolers express their emotions. When sprouts begin to emerge and flowers start to bloom, young kids will enjoy feeling a great sense of accomplishment. They’ll also have lots of chances to express curiosity, excitement, and wonder at new and exciting discoveries. When a plant doesn’t bloom or grow as well as you’ve hoped, you can teach your child all about healthy ways of dealing with frustration and disappointment.
Gardening can also help kids build their social skills and get along with people. Your kids can build healthy relationships and learn vital social skills simply by talking about all the plants they’ve grown or demonstrating what they do in the garden. They can even help other people solve problems and strengthen their bond with friends, relatives, and playmates. Your little ones and their friends are also sure to have a wonderful time feasting on bountiful fruit and veggie snacks together during playtime!
4. It builds their vocabulary
Early exposure to reading, writing, and drawing is truly rewarding for any child. Simply picking out new seeds to plant can strengthen a toddler or preschooler’s emerging vocabulary bank. Talking to your child about how a plant grows and thrives in the spring is also a great way to enhance their thinking and speaking skills. Even though words like “sprout”, “bloom”, and “trowel” may not be a big deal for us, they are important and unique for any young child learning more about the world around them.
One way to bring out your child’s word wizard talents is to make a gardening book together. Home-made gardening books provide endless opportunities for kids to practice drawing new pictures and learn new words every day. Your child is bound to have lots of fun drawing a plant’s various growth stages, sticking pictures of seeds and flowers, or simply sketching their ideal garden with Crayola.
5. It makes fruits and veggies more enjoyable
Home gardening can save the day when catchy songs and shows about healthy eating aren’t enough encouragement for picky eaters! Kids who are unsure about eating carrots or potatoes will have a much easier time enjoying veggies that they’ve grown themselves. By teaching your kids all about how vegetables grow and thrive, you can build a deeper sense of appreciation for healthier and more organic food. Since your home-grown ingredients won’t be covered in chemicals or pesticides, munching on healthy salads and meals will also become much easier for your kids.