Let’s Dig In! Gardening with Young Children to Enhance their Development
Gardening teaches young children the skills that enhance their overall development.
Gardening is not just a great physical activity, but it also encourages creativity, teamwork, curiosity, and responsibility. Being in nature is also good for the mental health of the children. They learn by exploring, observing, and interacting with the plants. Mt. Elizabeth Academy strongly believes that gardening and outdoor activities are a rich part of curriculum delivery when it comes to early learning.
Gardening supports holistic learning, and our daycare incorporates gardening activities to simulate the development of toddlers, pre-k students, and other young children.
Ways Gardening Enhancing Development of Young Children
Here are the many benefits of teaching children gardening:
Physical, Motor, and Perceptual Development
Children are sensory and tactile learners. Through gardening, they can learn about the different scents of flowers and plants, the changing seasons and weather. Helping with gardening develops motor skills as they move their hands through the soil to plant, take out weeds using their hands or tools, and water the plants
Communication and Language
Talking and reading about the growing process of the plants can enhance the vocabulary of the children. Productive conversations about seeds, watering, planting, and growing can help them have a better understanding of the world.
Through gardening, they can also learn to draw the plans, label them, learn about the growing process, and to understand the difference between different plants.
Spending time in nature allows them to understand the lifecycle of plants and even insects. It introduces the children to science; they not only learn the basics but also get hands-on knowledge not found in a textbook. We help the children wonder what happens when they sow the seed in the soil. They can observe the leaves, stems, petals, and tree bark. They can compare shapes, produce, foliage, seeds, and sizes of the plants.
Tending to a garden also encourages curiosity. It also gives children a chance to work independently and look after a plant, which also instills responsibility. It also promotes gratification when the plant grows and bears fruits and flowers.
Emotional and Social Development
Gardening also supports emotional functioning as children express disappointment or delight when their plant struggle or thrive. It works as a stress reliever as it helps them to calm down and relax. We encourage children to work in pairs or alone on different gardening tasks to help with their overall development. Aside from that, growing food and herbs teaches them the importance of healthy eating.
Gardening is another way for children to spend time with their peers, siblings, teachers, and parents, allowing them to develop a closer bond. Spending time outdoors also creates fantastic memories as the children gain a lifelong love for growing plants and enjoy each stage of the process.
Mt. Elizabeth Academy is a daycare center offering after-school programs, vacation camp, pre-K, and other early learning activities for families in Acworth, Marietta, Kennesaw, and other areas. We have a beautiful nature trail to encourage children to appreciate nature and develop their interest in gardening and other outdoor activities. Get in touch with us today for more information.