5 Benefits of Gardening With Kids
Summer is my favorite time of year, it always has been. My birthday is in the summer, which probably contributes to why I love it so much, but it goes beyond that. I have fond memories of spending time at my family’s community garden plot when I was a child. I remember running around, fascinated by what other people were growing. I remember looking at the teeny tiny sprouts coming out of the ground and wondering what it was going to grow into. I remember sneaking snap peas and strawberries from the plants in our plot when my mom’s back was turned. I also remember visiting my mom’s favorite farmer’s stand, we called it Joe’s Garden, and watching the produce come in straight from the field. One of the women who worked there would always greet my sister and I with a carrot to eat, with bits of dirt still clinging to it. The taste of that garden fresh carrot remains one of my favorite summer flavors.
Gardening is one of those things that I’ve come back to as an adult. I have a dream of one day owning a piece of land, perhaps an acre or two, with room for a huge veggie patch out back. Right now we’re in a townhouse which means you have to get a bit more creative with gardening. When we bought our home, there were a few other units with nicer interiors for sale, but the planter boxes in the back yard were what sold me on the home we bought. Between our planter boxes and our community garden plot, we do quite nicely growing veggies each summer!
We’ve had our community garden plot since the Bean was a baby and each summer the kids help us pick out what we are going to plant there and in our planters at home.
I’m hoping that gardening will be one of those skills that I pass along to my own children and that in the process they will learn a ton about food and where it comes from.
If you don’t have access to a community garden or a backyard where you can plant I highly suggest container gardening on your patio, by your front door or even on a window sill. The benefits of gardening with kids are numerous, but here are a few of my favorites.
5 Benefits of Gardening With Kids
1. Educational: Learning about where food comes from and the growth process from seed to table is a wonderful lesson for kids.
2. Bonding outdoors: Having a garden to tend to is a great way to get the family outdoors spending time together.
3. Helps picky eaters: Kids that you usually have to fight with to get them to eat a vegetable often become interested if it comes from a plant that they grew themselves.
4. Exercise: Gardening is a great form of exercise. Hauling bags of dirt, pushing a wheelbarrow, bending to pull weeds, squatting to dig holes for your seedlings — all help to burn calories and tone muscles.
5. Life Lessons: Patience, responsibility, nurturing, cooperation, nutrition, creativity, self esteem, the cycle of life — really the list could go on and on of all the positive life lessons that a little one could learn from their garden.
It’s amazing how a little time and energy can transform a garden! This was our backyard garden 3 weeks ago.
And this is our garden today!
In just a few weeks I’m sure the transformation will be even more impressive!
A new addition this year to our garden is berries! A few weeks ago we headed to the PC Garden Centre and told the kids that they could help pick what they wanted to see us grow in the back yard. Our main garden area (in the photos above) is pretty standard each year– a ton of tomatoes, kale, lettuce, herbs and some bee friendly flowers to help with pollination. We have a second planting area that we’ve normally reserved for flowers but this year I thought it would be fun to let the kids choose what we were going to plant there! While I picked up the veggie plants from the vegetable section the kids walked around looking at plants. I am so excited with what they chose!
The PC Garden Centre has a wonderful selection of berry plants! My kids decided to think ahead to next year and have us plant raspberry canes and blueberry bushes! We don’t expect to see much of a crop from them until next summer, but can you imagine how wonderful it will be to walk into our back yard and pick raspberries and blueberries?
We also picked up a couple of strawberry plants and planted them in a pot. I’ve never seen ones with such pretty flowers before!
Bean also “convinced” me (let me tell you, there wasn’t much arm twisting needed) to pick up some succulents while we were there that we used to make this pretty succulent planter together!
I’m thrilled with our backyard space and love that it’s such a family friendly environment where my kids enjoy spending time too!
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Like this post? Make sure to check out our 5 Tips For Creating A Family Friendly Outdoor Space!
Tell us… What has your own experience with gardening been like? What would you/do you love to grow in your garden? What is or your favorite tip for gardening with kids?
Disclosure: Thank you to PC Garden Centres for working with us on this post. As with every article on Hello Creative Family, all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.
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