Kids love to get dirty, so why not introduce them to gardening, no matter what age? Just enjoying some quality time together will benefit both kids and adults. There are many benefits to learning from the garden, and the big one is getting outside and away from screen time. If you are not an outside person, there are numerous indoor plants that you can explore, too.
Engaging all of your child’s senses like feeling, smelling, tasting and observing, is a great way to explore the garden. Gardening can also teach responsibility; giving your child the task of watering will show them that if they neglect their job, the plants will wither and die.
Gardening helps children develop their motor skills by using gardening tools, bending and balancing to avoid walking on plants.
Gardening also teaches patience, whereby children must wait for the seeds to start growing. Lots of herbs or sunflowers are easy to grow and show children that good things are worth the wait.
Gardening teaches children where their food comes from and it encourages them to eat healthy foods. Start kids off with easy-to-grow plants like herbs, or flowers like sunflowers and marigolds. Vegetables such as carrots, beans and pumpkins are also great options. Kids love to explore, feeling unique textures like fuzzy, rubbery, prickly and smooth as they feel the plants, making it a fun time. Grow some plants that you would use when making a pizza, like onions, peppers or cherry tomatoes.
You can start with a raised bed or simply use containers for a small garden. Gardening tools come in child-friendly sizes, too. Now is a great time to start growing seeds indoors with your children. When the weather gets warm enough, it will be an exciting project to transplant their seedlings to the garden outdoors.
So, when the weather permits, let’s get dirty!
The Dunnville Horticultural Society normally meets the third Thursday of the month at the Optimist Hall. With many provincial COVID-19 mandates coming to an end on March 1, we are hoping to resume in-person meetings in March. For more information, check out our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or our Facebook page. Dunnville Horticultural Society president Deb Zynomirski can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416-566-9337.