It feels so good to get outside when the weather is nice!
Children thrive in the natural setting. But exposure to nature is good for all ages! It not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Gardening is a great way to get into nature. And if you don’t have a garden space, you can try square foot or container gardening. Or find a community garden nearby.
It is said that there are seven wonders of the natural world, but for little ones there are seven million wonders in the world right outside their door! Everything is fresh and new. The young child’s work is to play and to make constant discoveries about their environment.
Gardening is a perfect way for the smallest child to explore and honor the earth. Of course, children learn by using their whole body — and all their senses. Children are naturally curious little scientists and love to experience the sights, scents, sounds and textures of the outdoors. As your little explorer follows you into the garden, you can talk to them about what they are seeing.
Give them the names of familiar plants. Describe the squelch of mud between their toes. Notice the texture of the leaves and how they dance in the breeze. Point out the variety of seeds in the fruits and vegetables you share. Gradually, you can introduce the planting of seeds.
And for older kids and teens, the benefits of gardening are just as valuable.
Here are some ideas.
- Get Your Hands Dirty! Here are 10 Benefits of Gardening with Kids
- NAEYC – 7 Tips for Vegetable Gardening With Your Toddler
- Garden Activities and Crafts for Kids of All Ages
Gardening Activities for Toddlers
- Seed Jar Science Experiment for Spring STEM Activities with Kids
- Growing Grass In A Cup
- Planting Seeds In Eggshells
Fun Garden Activities for Little Ones
- Make a special fairy garden or dinosaur garden! Decorate with stones and flowers and twigs.
- Water plants. Or toes!
- Paint stones. Toddlers are happy with a bucket of water and a paintbrush!
- Make mud pies. It’s okay to get your hands dirty! Learning involves all the senses.
And below you will find a booklist with even more stories, projects and ideas. Happy gardening!
This article was written for our Family Newsletter, brought to you by Home Learning Support and available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.