Spring has finally arrived! With Earth Day being celebrated globally this month, now is the perfect time to start planning a garden with your family! The benefits of gardening are endless.
Here are just a few of the benefits that children reap having the opportunity to work in the garden:
- Building self-confidence
- Promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) through hypothesizing, observing, reasoning, planning, organizing, and measuring
- Improving focus & memory (cited by a Swedish Study published in Developmental Rehabilitation in July 2009)
- Stress relieving and cortisol reducing (cited by a 2011 study in the Journal of Health Psychology)
- Positively impacting mood & physical well-being
- Improving locomotor skills through transport of dirt, use of wheelbarrow, etc.
- Improving fine motor skills using pincer grip to weed, embed seeds, etc.
- Increasing literacy through conversation, labeling of plants, creation of signs, etc.
- Understanding of cause and effect
- Encouraging teamwork, reliability, and responsibility
- Lowering respiratory illness and autoimmunity through exposure to microbes & fungi in dirt
- Teaching a respect for nature and all living things
- Sequencing of growth
Do not let space hinder you! You can have these same experiences delivered in a window box or planter on a patio. The appreciation of plant life can continue through each season both indoors and outdoors.