Getting your kids involved in gardening from a young age
Gardening with children provides them with skills to help your child’s development. You and your children will enjoy every stage of the process.
May is the perfect time of year in Michigan to start a gardening project with your children. Gardening with children provides the perfect combination of skills and tasks to address your child’s development. For example, gardening is a great physical development activity.
Young children can practice locomotor skills, body management skills and object control skills while they move from one place to the other carrying tools, soil and water. They will be moving their bodies using large muscles and using muscles to balance and manage objects too. Fine motor skills such as whole-hand grasping and the pincer grasp (necessary skills for writing) are employed in gardening when children use a trowel or rake and pick up tiny seeds to plant. Further, being outdoors in the fresh air and moving around a lot is a good way to get exercise.
Another aspect of physical development is the sensory stimulation that you can experience in a garden. Water is a critical part of gardening and, if your child enjoys nothing else, playing with the hose or the watering can be a highlight. Feeling the texture of the soil or the plant leaves is also interesting, as is the smell of the fresh garden and its plants.
Of course, most gardens are a visual explosion of colors, tones and shades. If you plant edible plants, this is one of the few areas where you can actually safely employ your child’s sense of taste. Children are often more willing to try a new food if they have been involved in the process of growing it.