Instilling Love of Life and Nature In Our Children Through Gardening
Today, creating environmental awareness has become of utmost importance as we race against time to save our planet from total destruction. The reality is clear. Our planet is dying. It is each and every human being’s responsibility to help save the earth, and make a conscious effort to spread this message across peoples, nations, and continents.
However, this message should begin within the home, in the hearts and minds of our little children. Teaching our children to respect, appreciate and care for nature at an early age, will help them grow into responsible individuals with a deep love for the environment. Proverbs 22:6 of the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”. Gardening is one of the best ways we can train our children and encourage them to care for Mother Nature.
Not only is gardening a great way to inspire kids to care for our environment, gardening is also an important tool in the mental, social and emotional development and well-being of our kids. The Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) commissioned a study that would investigate the impact of gardening in children’s well-being. The organization launched a a campaign for school gardening, with over 12,000 schools and educational institutions signing up for the campaign. The study showed that gardening has helped children become more active learners capable of acting independently. Gardening greatly improves children’s readiness to learn, giving them a mental challenge to seek new knowledge and solve problems. The study showed that kids are able to enhance their skills in core subjects, such as literacy and numeracy. Gardening helps children become more confident and responsible as they learn new skills, helping them become creative thinkers that can adapt well to changes in society.
The study also found that gardening helps children develop stronger community bonds, enabling them to deepen their relationships with their parents, peers and the community. Gardening also encourages our kids to embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. According to RHS, “gardening motivates children to learn and gives them some ownership of their learning”.
As parents, it is our responsibility to help our children grow into the best individuals that they can be. Gardening is one of the simplest things we can teach our children, yet it creates a big impact in their lives not only in the present, but also in the future. Let us bring joy to our kids, as they learn basic gardening skills and have fun doing so.
How to Get Your Kids Interested in Gardening
2. Provide your kids their own garden space. Choose the best space too, one with good soil and good access to sunlight.
3. Give your kids tools and gardening equipment that are light-weight, easy to handle, and have the right size. Giving them tools that they can’t handle well can put them at risk for potential injury.
4. Let your kids make the majority of planning and design. Teach them how to start a garden, but let them feel their own ideas are good. Throw in some choices and suggestions and let them make the final decision. Allow them to prepare the space, break up the soil, and even stomp on the dirt. Kids especially love that.
5. Give them plants that are easy to grow. Give them flower and fruit bearing plants as well as vegetables to plant. Plant flowers that attract butterflies, birds and ladybugs.
6. Incorporate fun designs on your kid’s garden such as trellises, scarecrows, and little dwarf statues.
7. Encourage friends and other kids to help out too. Gardening with friends would make it more fun for your child.
8. Take your child to community gardens and farms. This will give your child more creative ideas to apply to his or her own garden.
It would be a very rewarding and satisfying thing to see your child come home from school and visit his or her garden, check on things, water the plants, and do more planning. As your child’s garden grows into a beautiful little piece of paradise, your child is also growing and building great qualities within him or her that would shape his or her character. Gardening gives your children fond memories, great experience, and deep love for life and nature, that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.
Contributed by: Michelle G. [link]
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