The Benefits of Family Gardening
With schools and nurseries now closed, keeping the little ones occupied can be quite challenging. Most children love helping with active projects, especially any involving soil and water, so why not get them involved in the garden? It’s a low-cost hobby, educational in its science and nature aspects, and most importantly it’s great for their physical and mental wellbeing.
Apart from encouraging the next generation to be active gardeners, gardening with the children does have many advantages. So, let’s discover why swapping electronic devices for forks, spades and trowels is the ideal way to pass any extra time you may now have.
Digging, planting and cultivating are great ways of providing the children with the physical activity and exercise they need whilst also boosting their natural levels of Vitamin D through sunlight. Children exposed to micro-organisms in soil tend to have strong immune systems, leaving them less likely to develop allergies and autoimmunity disorders.
Most children are fascinated by the process of growing their own plants and vegetables. Watching their carefully planted bulbs and seeds grow can be a real confidence and self-esteem booster, as well as perhaps providing a calm, peaceful outdoor haven. Sunshine helps us all to feel more positive and productive – the fresh air may even help the children to sleep better at night, so the whole family benefit.
Gardening opens up many ways to make learning fun. Before long the children will be counting out scoops of birdseed, marking distances between planting or investigating shady areas of the garden and best areas to plant. Injecting a bit of competitive fun such as seeing who can collect the biggest pile of weeds, spot a bug or a species of bird also helps to keep them motivated.
Planting and pulling out weeds helps with fine motor development, smelling flowers, identifying birds on the feeder, listening for bees, tasting fruit are all activities which engage the senses – suitable for children of all ages.
We may not always realise it, but family time is precious and helping in the garden is a fantastic way to create family bonds and memories. Even if it’s just sweeping up leaves or measuring their height against a sunflower, children do remember these events. Take a few family photos as they’ll later act as treasured mementos.
Successful gardening gives us all a sense of achievement. Teaching children that plants depend on them for water and care encourages responsibility and thought. Perhaps they could take responsibility for a section of garden each, make sure bird feeders are filled regularly, or garden tools are clean and put away properly. Individual age appropriate chores encourage a real sense of purpose, helping children to feel appreciated.
Needing an outdoor space for the whole family? Give our design team a call on 0116 210 0760.