Children love playing outdoors as they are permitted to mess about in mud! If we take advantage of this trait through gardening, children will learn many new skills and have fun at the same time. The entire process of sowing seeds, watching seedlings coming out, seeing the plants grow tall, admiring the flowers and the actual activity of tending the plants can be fun for kids. That’s why gardening and child psychology are related in a unique way.
From the physical development angle the fresh air and sunlight will be excellent for the overall health of children. The physical activity involved during gardening will give the kids exercise and improve their appetites which is necessary for growth. When we speak of psychological development of children, these are some of the benefits of gardening:
APPRECIATION OF NATURE
Kids learn a very important lesson while tending a garden – that it is the responsibility of humans to take care of nature. When they are personally involved in nurturing a plant(s), they learn to love nature and care about the environment. It is more effective than teaching through books or presentations in a classroom.
SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY
If you are dealing with more than a couple of kids, like in a school, each child should be asked to tend the same plant each day. They develop a sense of responsibility. They learn quickly that if they neglect the plant it will wither and die.
As the plant starts growing the child will develop self-confidence in the knowledge that he/she can do something worthwhile. This self worth will come in handy in achieving higher goals in adulthood.
A little time to watch their favorite cartoon shows on television is fine. On the other hand, gardening will teach the kids how productive activity can be fun too. It doesn’t necessarily have to be boring just because it is sort-of educational!
Gardening doesn’t mean just sowing seeds, watering plants and watching them grow. During their time in the garden children can be taught other important plant-related topics like:
- The science behind the growth of plants,
- How seasons and daily weather affect the plants,
- Nutrition for plants,
- The edible parts of plants,
- Which insects are good for plants,
- Which insects are harmful,
- Importance of weeding, etc.
Gardening therefore becomes a whole new journey of discovery for the children. They learn to analyse the effect of the environment as well as their own actions on the plants.
Every child is equally responsible for nurturing plants. This shared responsibility instills a feeling of solidarity among the children. They develop skills like teamwork and cooperation. They begin to understand others’ problems and learn to help each other when necessary.
Kids can be encouraged to be as creative as possible in the garden. Let them have the freedom to choose the plant by showing an example. When they look at a grown plant they know what to expect. They can hone their creative skills and make the plant look greener, healthier and better than the original.
To sum up
Global warming and climate change are the two major concerns of nations across the globe. In this scenario teaching children to not only appreciate nature but to also grow plants/trees is imperative. As gardening and child psychology are related, the activity will help to nurture children as well as plants.