Hello, from Linwood Alive!
This month we got to garden with the littlest of our participants. Last year we weren’t able to garden with our Day Care because of Covid-19 restrictions, so it was VERY exciting for everyone to get back in the garden with the little ones and get our hands dirty. The children were especially excited to garden with Mr. Steve, and if i’m being honest I think it’s his favorite garden activity as well. Who doesn’t love seeing children’s faces light up and their creativity grow when learning how to garden!? We got our hands dirty learning how to plant snap peas- yummy! The children at the Linwood Day Care did such a great job listening to Mr. Steve and learning how to plant their seeds in the ground. I couldn’t tell if they had more fun planting the seeds or getting to water them afterwards! It was such a fun and rewarding activity to share with such small children, and not to mention there are many benefits to gardening with children.
Lets take a look at 10 different ways children benefit from gardening:
- Gardening engages all five senses- Incorporating sensory exploration is easy in the garden! How does the dirt feel? How does it feel if you add water to it? What does that tomato plant smell like? What does the carrot taste like, can you hear the crunch when you bite into it? The possibilities are endless when exploring in the garden with children to engage their senses.
- Gardening encourages healthy eating- If children are involved in planting and growing the food, they’re more likely to be curious and try the yummy veggies once they’re ready to harvest.
- Gardening enhances fine motor development- getting children active and using their hands are great ways to develop fine motor skills!
- Gardening is science- this past month Linwood Day Care has been exploring gardening science experiments with the children. The FUN experiment the children are doing is called Rainbow Celery. Each celery is placed in a different cup with water and food coloring to watch the plant change color throughout the week. How exciting!
- Gardening is a great family activity- A lot of our community garden participants have children and its very exciting watching them garden together as a family. The children really enjoy running about the garden and helping mom and dad water the plants.
- Gardening teaches responsibility- I think we can ALL agree that gardening takes a lot of attention/ time. Teaching children to take care of their plants by watering and pulling weeds teaches them responsibilities at an early age.
- Gardening helps children to plan and organize- when you’re planning out your garden for the year, you need to plant seeds at different times throughout the year. Gardening helps kids learn about research and planning.
- Gardening creates environmental stewards- teaching children to learn and care about the environment will shape their minds early to continue to care for our planet.
- Gardening develops math skills- you don’t want to plant your rows to close! This opens up the opportunity to talk about spacing and measurements of our plants.
- Gardening teaches patience- everyone knows that gardening takes TIME, trust me I wish I could plant a seed and reap the benefits the next day as well. But that isn’t the case, and gardening is a great way to show children that being patient is worth the wait!
The next fun activity we have planned with the Linwood Day Care is to plant flowers with the children! We will plant the seeds together, and then when the flowers are ready transplant we will plant them into their flower beds around the playground. 🙂