Valuable Lessons Gardening Teaches Children
Gardening is an excellent pastime for children, combining physical exercise, outdoor activity, and plenty of fun. But it can also teach many valuable life lessons which will help kids develop into rounded adults, making it a deeply educational activity as well as a fulfilling hobby.
Importance of Health and Fitness
Giving plants the right conditions to grow healthily introduces the concepts of nutrition and self-care. For children, looking after health can seem an abstract concept, but gardening successes and failures give a very real picture of its importance.
From reading seed packet instructions to deciphering botanical plant names, gardening adds a new layer of literacy on top of regular book learning. And because it's taken on board in an enthusiastic setting, it doesn't feel like hard mental work.
Gardening includes concepts and knowledge from across the board. It covers branches of science including biology, chemistry, and physics, while also touching on geography and other academic areas. What's more, it joins these topics together in a meaningful way, adding an extra dimension of interest over traditional classroom learning.
Patience and Planning
Although choosing the right plants to grow can speed things up, gardening success doesn't happen overnight. By letting nature take its own time, children learn about patience, planning, and the value of delayed gratification. These lessons are hugely valuable across all parts of life as they grow into adulthood.
Nature usually finds a way to thrive, but few plants grow successfully without a little help. Nurturing plants from seed to maturity teaches responsibility. It also emphasizes the importance of care and attention in achieving your aims.
And this sense of responsibility translates directly into an awareness of environmental issues. When children experience the effects of the environment on the plants they're caring for, it's easier to grasp the larger global issues which may otherwise seem abstract and distant.
Coping with Success and Failure
But no matter how much care you lavish on a garden, things won't always go to plan. The inevitable setbacks give children a gentle introduction to failure and a real sense of consequences to actions.
And of course, there will also be successes to go with the failures. Being able to handle both with equal calmness is a vital part of a balanced personality.
Benefits of Teamwork
Maintaining a large garden is a lot of work for little hands, but sharing the effort with friends gives a vivid example of the benefits of teamwork. Being able to work happily and effectively with others is an essential skill in the adult world, and the sooner it's developed, the better.
Most children have a natural enthusiasm for gardening, enjoying getting their hands dirty in a worthwhile cause. But when it offers such valuable lessons to go alongside the fun, it's an activity you should do your best to encourage.