Late spring and early summer means it’s gardening season! While gardener parents are probably already allowing their children to help out with the tasks, many don’t consider giving their child his own personal garden area to maintain. However, if your child is old enough and the space is available, Chipper suggests setting up a personal garden for your little one. Below are five reasons why giving your child a garden is beneficial.
1. Encourages responsibility without extreme losses:
Every parent wants to raise a responsible child with the skills to care for another living being. However, it isn’t always easy to assess your child’s capabilities if she has never been given such a task before. Instead of using small animals like goldfish or gerbils as “starter pets,” let your child manage a garden first. Plants require just enough care to teach important lessons about meeting the needs of another creature; but if something goes wrong, and they die, it’s not as devastating.
2. Teaches planning and organizational skills:
Maintaining a garden isn’t as easy as putting plants in the ground at random. A knowledgeable gardener considers the conditions wherein the chosen plants will thrive. Your child will have to plan his garden while thinking about which plants grow best in direct sunlight vs. partial shade, how far apart each plant should be from the others, whether or not certain plants affect the health of others, and other concerns. Although he doesn’t have to get everything perfect the first time, introducing such ideas early on will encourage him to improve his garden every year. Making labels for each plant is another great activity they can do!
3. Gives your child a sense of independence this Independence Day:
Now is the best time to encourage independence with 4th of July tomorrow! Most kids love the feeling of control they get when working on something of their own–like a garden. They gets to pick out the plants, decide when to water and weed the beds, and after all the flowers have bloomed and the veggies have grown, they decide what to do with them. This means that, instead of asking us to buy gifts for your kids to give to friends and family, they have something to give them that is more meaningful since they grew it through her own hard work with her own two hands. Or, if your child chooses, they may simply keep everything to herself for a tasty dinner or snack. That kind of freedom is something children don’t enjoy too often!
4. Emphasizes the importance of plants in everyday life:
Many people and their kids these days don’t know where their food comes from!Sustainable, local food sources are becoming more popular, according to this New York Time article. You’ll know for sure that your child knows what farming entails if you let him try his hand at gardening. Not only will he know that carrots grow underground and tomatoes bush up, but he’ll have a deep understanding of the life cycle plants and how a seed, if given enough love and care, can grow into something that can nourish his body. This cycle and understanding is not only educational, it is a deeper knowledge of life that will benefit your child for the rest of their life.
5. It’s a chance to get messy and have fun:
Gardening is a chance for digging in dirt, playing with worms, picking ripe veggies, and cooling down with the hose. If that doesn’t sound like an exciting day for a child, then Chipper isn’t a squirrel! Getting outdoors is vital to children’s health and
development and caring for a garden will get them out that door more often! If you are lacking space in your backyard, check out this short video on easy indoor gardens here. Need some kids sized gardening gear? Check out this Junior Gardening Set from Let’s Go Chipper!