What child do you know who doesn’t like to play in the dirt? In fact, most parents have trouble keeping their kids out of it! Why not turn that affinity for everything dirty into a lifelong pursuit of healthy living? Who knows, you might just be raising up the next generation botanist in the family. Actually, whether they develop a passion for gardening or not, there’s a lot to learn about life when growing a garden and here is just a sampling of skills they can acquire.
First a Word on Family Time
You might want to look at this as a ‘skill,’ but in reality, your child thrives on time spent with you just like the garden you are growing together thrives on sunshine. To your children, you are the sunshine in their lives. You are the one who comforts them when they are sick, brings light into a dark room when they have a nightmare and gives them nourishment when they are hungry. You are their sunshine.
The Importance of a Nurturing Environment
While some people refer to this as learning responsibilities, there is another way to view the importance of caring for your plants daily. Instead of dwelling on the negatives such as how their flowers and veggies will die if they don’t get fed/watered every day, why not focus on how well they are thriving due to all the love and care they are given. Somewhere deep down your children will begin to draw similarities between the way they are nurtured by their parents’ love and the nourishment and care they are giving their plants. It’s a positive way to look at responsibilities. For more natural ways to look at life skills, turn to sites like Idea Hacks. Look for all those great skills to be learned from a natural way of living.
An Appreciation of Nature
Another wonderful thing kids learn when gardening is a very real appreciation of nature. You can teach your little ones a lot about the ecosphere and how it takes more than a seed, sunshine, and water to continue the species. You can show them how they flower and produce seeds. You can teach your children to gather, dry and save those seeds for the next year’s garden. Later in their development, you will have the tools to talk about the ‘birds and the bees’ in a very real example they will already understand. There’s something quite amazing about all the lessons to be learned from nature and gardening is the perfect place to start.
A Final Word on Culinary Delights
Finally, what child do you know who is willing to try new foods? Most children, for some unknown reason, will not touch anything green! It is a unique child who is willing to at least sample everything on the plate but if your children grow those foods themselves, they are more than eager to see what they taste like. If they are still unwilling to give those greens a try, why not make a party of it with their friends? Watch how quickly your child begins to brag about the garden they grew and before you know it, they will be showing just how good those previously abhorrent greens really are. It’s amazing what a garden can do for your children so get out there today and start planting. They won’t stay little for long.