I’ve loved to garden ever since I can remember. In fact, there’s a picture of me somewhere around the age of 18 months, in the garden, with my face covered in dirt. It’s one of my very favorite pictures. So when I “grew up” and my husband and I bought our house, it was no surprise to anyone that every spring, I get the itch to plant something. When H was born, I wanted to instill that same love in her, and I think so far, I have! There are so, SO many benefits to gardening with your child, but today, I want to share my five favorites.
1. If Your Child Grows it, They’ll be More Likely to Eat it
This is a HUGE benefit to me since in general, my kids aren’t big vegetable eaters. (Although they will eat these amazingly healthy homemade graham crackers–with a secret ingredient!) Thankfully you don’t grow chocolate or ice cream in midwest gardens. But seriously, if my girls can plant the seed, water the ground, and pick the vegetable, they’ll at least TRY it! That’s far more than I can say for vegetables they pick up off the grocery store shelf.
2. Spending time outside is good for the imagination
Have you noticed the serious lack of screens that there is when you’re outside? I know my kids haven’t. Nope. They’re too busy pretending to drive their “cars” to the lake or pretending they’re being chased by a bear or pretending they’re homeless and starting a small fire behind the bushes to keep warm. (Oh wait…that was me as a kid.) Kids have awesome imaginations. They deserve a chance to use them! This is more of a benefit to simply being outside, but since gardens tend to be outside…it works.
3. If you Spend Time Gardening with your Child, They’ll Know that Green Beans Don’t Come from a Can
They’ll also learn a great deal of other helpful life skills. This is a picture of my girls on the first day of preschool two years ago. We went outside that day and not only played, but also LEARNED while working in the garden. You’d be surprised how many children don’t know where our food comes from. We’re not one of those families.
4. Your Child Learn to will Appreciate God’s Creation
I’m a big fan of flower gardening as well as vegetable gardening. God has given us so many beautiful colors to enjoy gardening with your child gives them a chance to enjoy those as well. My girls love watching flowers grow and every year, I remind them of what a miracle it is. We’re always sure to thank God for the flowers…those little things that were put there simply to bring us joy.
5. (This one’s my favorite!) You are Spending Quality Time with your Child…
…and there’s no pressure. This is a big one, especially for me as a homeschool mom. When I spend one-on-one time with one of my children, it’s usually school-related. I’m trying to teach one of them to read or we’re working on numbers or something. With gardening, although we’re learning, there’s absolutely no pressure on the child. There’s no pressure to do things exactly right, to not spill things, or to stay clean! You and your child can be carefree together! And sometimes that’s exactly what you both need.
So those are my five favorite benefits to gardening with my children.
What’s your favorite benefit of gardening with your child? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
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