01 March . 2018
Growing a strong future: the many benefits of gardening with kids
Getting kids involved in gardening can inspire them to eat a healthy and balanced diet, and that’s just the tip of iceberg lettuce when it comes to the many benefits that families can reap from working the soil.
Kids who participate in gardening projects score higher in science achievement tests than those who do not, according to PBS Parents. Gardening inspires kids to ask questions like, “Why do plants need sun?” “How do plants drink water?” “How do worms help the plants?”
These kinds of questions can open kids’ minds to talking about photosynthesis, biology and other topics they might otherwise avoid. You can also sneak some easy math lessons into planning a garden bed. For example, determining the area of the garden, then figuring out how many plants will fit in, after reading the spacing directions on the seed packets or containers.
Also consider the brain-boosting vitamins and minerals kids can get by eating their freshly grown veggies. Easy-to-grow foods like spinach, carrots and beets are all proven to help with brain function. Even kids resistant to the taste of fresh veggies will be tempted to join in when they’ve grown them themselves. Sunflowers do double duty for their beautiful blooms and their seeds, which are rich sources of protein and iron.
Gardening also offers many physical benefits for kids, along with fresh air and sunshine. Tasks like moving soil, pushing a wheelbarrow and weeding rows help to promote motor skills and overall strength. In addition, these kids of activities can foster mindfulness, helping kids to focus and keep calm.
Gardening is also a great way to get kids to disconnect from their screens and make stronger social connections with friends and family members. Growing a garden can give kids a sense of purpose and responsibility, and help them develop awareness and respect for the environment. Studies have shown that the activities related to gardening help kids have better moods, improved learning and lessened anxiety.
It’s easy to grow a backyard vegetable garden in Elyson or anywhere. Here are a few tips for getting started from Texas A&M University.
Elyson’s community orchards, offering citrus fruits and pecans for residents to pick, are another great way to get kids interested in growing their own food. They also offer the added benefit of motivating the entire family to get out and explore Elyson’s parks and trails.
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