Talk about a perfect combination, home edible gardens are a great tool to get your kids active outside, learning about science and growing an appreciation for fresh, healthy foods. Particularly if they’re involved in the planning process (let them pick some or all of the plants), kids will love gardening. Naturally a multi-step project with each “lesson” needing only a few minutes per day or week, there is much to be learned: botany, patience and commitment, care, natural selection, the effects of neglect, natural resources, symbiosis, project management, etc.
Furthermore, children can enjoy lifelong benefits from learning about gardening at an early age: beyond exposure to healthy foods, social and interpersonal skills, attitudes towards learning and empathy have all been observed in children exposed to gardening as published by researchers at the University of Colorado. In this particular collection of studies, UC illustrates that when a child is exposed to gardening, they gain:
Improved Social Skills
Working collaboratively on a project regarding growth and a common goal can result in a significant increase in the ability to work within groups and fostering interpersonal relationships
Healthy Eating Habits
Children who grow their own fruits and vegetables, are much more likely to be interested in eating healthier, a habit which can be very hard to instil otherwise.
A Positive Attitude Towards Education
The hands-on educational based activity of gardening can have great effects on a child’s interest in learning, and shift their attitude towards learning to a much more positive drive.
Ready to get their hands in the dirt and eyes focused on something without a screen? Check out this free downloadable e-book “How to Plant An Urban Edible Garden in 10 Steps or Less” and get planting.
Someone in your family not on board yet for planting an edible garden? Here are some helpful sites to get them thinking:
The Better Health Channel: Gardening For Children
Kids Gardening: Research Supporting The Benefits of School Gardens
Babble: Benefits of Gardening with Kids
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