Benefits of Gardening with Young Children

  1. Engaging senses: Gardening can be a great activity for engaging all five senses.  What does the dirt feel like on their hands?  How does it feel if you add water to the dirt?  What color is the parsley?  Do you hear the fruit crunch when you chew it?  How does the fruit smell and taste?
  2. Encourage Healthier Eating: Children are more likely to pick healthier options when they grow it themselves.  They can sample the fruit or vegetable right from the garden, or you could try a simple recipe that you can make in your classroom.
  3. Fine Motor Development: When the kids are picking up little seeds or pulling weeds, that is a great benefit to their fine motor development.
  4. Science: Gardening would be a great activity to work in for your science lesson!  What makes the plant have color?  Why do plants need the sun?  Can plants grow in different types of soil?
  5. Gardening helps build a classroom community: Gardening can be difficult however, it can bring everyone together to work on a common goal, growing something.  You can have jobs assigned to each student or a group of students if you have a larger class size.
  6. Responsibility: When taking care of plants in a garden, the children will learn if they do not water them, they may not have strawberries later.  If they do not remove the weeds, they can take over the garden.
  7. Organization: What plants grow best being next to each other?  Do they have to plant the seeds in neat rows?  Children can learn to organize and plan out their garden space with these conversations.
  8. Understanding the Environment: You can use gardening as a branch to talk about taking care of the environment.  Help the children in your classroom understand what a Farmer does every day and why they do it.  Where the food comes from in the grocery stores.
  9. Math Skills: Where should the seeds be planted?  How far apart do they need to be planted?  How long should the plants be in direct sunlight or shade?  How many times a day should the plants be watered?  How much water should you give them?
  10. Patience: Growing plants takes time.  The children will learn to understand that the plants will not be grown in a day and they must watch every day for changes.  This will help learn patience in other areas as well.

 

 

Excerpts found at Macaroni Kid