6 Reasons to Plant a Garden This Spring
As warmer weather (very) slowly rolls in, you might be thinking about planting a garden. You might have considered planting a garden yourself, or perhaps you thought you wouldn't have time. But planting a garden with the help of your kids can actually be an incredible experience for your kids with many positive benefits!
Develop fine motor skills
Helping with planting and maintaining a garden will help your young child in their development of fine motor skills. Whether they’re picking up seeds, digging holes with shovels, or weeding out unwanted growth, they will put their their little hands and fingers to work. They will learn that sometimes it’s important to be gentle with plants when planting and harvesting, and how to hold tools properly in their fingers.
Encourage healthy eating
By being involved with the planting and growing process, your child will learn where food actually comes from--it doesn’t just appear in the magical refrigerator or end up on the counter out of nowhere. But more importantly, being involved in the process will encourage them to try the literal fruits of their labor and foster a positive attitude towards healthy eating. You may find that your kids are more willing to eat--or at the very least, try-- veggies that they themselves grew.
Plants are a great way to introduce kids to science. Begin with explaining, in simple terms, how the sun gives energy to plants, who in turn use it to produce food and the oxygen we breathe! Describe how plants need both water and the nutrients in the soil to survive and flourish. Explain how flowers work, and the importance of pollination. These conversations can come naturally while you are outside with the plants.
A garden is not a one and done activity. Once the plot of ground is ready and the seeds are planted, the work does not end. The seedlings will need to be watered consistently, and weeds will have to be pulled. A garden is a commitment, and your child will learn the responsibility of completing tasks routinely and understand that living things need consistent care.
Plants take time! They don’t grow and produce fruits, vegetables or leaves automatically. And even as they begin to produce them, it is important to wait until they are ripe and the right size before harvesting. Your child will learn patience and that good things come to those who wait!
Foster family time
Tending to a garden is a wonderful way for the entire family to work together while being in the fresh air. Embrace the bonding time and have fun growing together!