Benefits of Gardening and Children

With Spring upon us, why not get children started with some gardening. Gardening offers children excellent sensory motor exploration. Think of all the senses that are involved in gardening:

  1. Tactile – touching the rough seeds, feeling the dry dirt, experiencing cold, wet mud, handling the soft fuzz of a green bean or the smooth skin of a melon
  2. Proprioceptive – digging in the dirt, pushing a seed into the ground, carrying watering cans, hauling watermelons and pulling weeds
  3. Olfactory – smelling the flowers, herbs and vegetables
  4. Taste – enjoying a crisp bite of a carrot or a warm tomato from the sun

Now think of all the motor experiences:

  1. Fine motor – handling the small seeds or picking a berry or bean
  2. Gross motor – kneeling in the garden, quadruped searching for cucumbers, squatting and standing
  3. Coordination – using garden tools with both hands or maneuvering a wheelbarrow
  4. Balance – avoiding stepping on plants or walking on the uneven ground

Why not start a garden this Spring. Here are some tips to creating a successful garden experience with children.

  • Make sure you get the children involved. Ask what types of food or flowers they would like to grow.
  • Look for seeds with short germination periods to keep the children interested.
  • Give each child a small area that they can plant their seeds. Mark each child’s with a self decorate garden marker (i.e. large paint stirrer stick) in the ground.
  • Use good soil to ensure growth of the plants
  • Remember to water and weed (fertilize if necessary).
  • If you do not have the space to garden, how about creating a large container garden for the children to nurture and watch grown.
  • If necessary, adapt the garden tools with bigger handles or velcro straps. If a child can not get to the ground to garden, bring the garden to them by starting a container garden.

Happy Gardening!

For more Spring activities check out: Sensory Motor Activities for Spring, Spring Handwriting Activities and Print and Create Fine Motor Projects – Spring.