Benefits of planting edible Gardens in your childcare centre
Gardening with children can be the most beneficial for both their mental and physical developmental growth.
In a society where 26% of children in Australia are considered obese (according to the ABS Australian Health Survey), and the McDonalds brand is one of the most recognisable brands known, we should be pushing how amazing plant life is starting with getting kids more involved with plant lifecycle.
Here are 7 reasons why we think Gardening with children is beneficial.
1. Introduce them to science and the basic life cycle of plants
There are so many learnings from gardening in the world of science from Parts of a plant, plant cycle (link), experiments with planting, experiments with germinating/ sowing seeds (link).
Kids can explore these learnings in a fun way while being active and open to the elements.
2. Encourages healthy eating and develops an appreciating to the plants and foods they eat
Kids are curious by nature and the more they learn, get involved and take ownership of the process of planting something, edible or not. The more they want to use all 7 senses with it including, taste. But more importantly they are learning to recognise a positive connection between edible plants and a healthy food source and studies recognise that if you are starting them young it creates positive habits for the future.
3. Teaches them about the types of edible plants you can grow
With the scientific side comes a whole new learning because there are thousands of different plants and recognising which is a vegetable and which is a fruit, or which is an herb or a weed or a flower is a game on its own.
4. Teaches them to focus on a task
Mud, water, shovels, little seeds with a promise of greenery is every curious kid’s dream. Put them together and get them to use them all in a step by step process and you have focussed children! Gardening is notorious for kids play, with a purpose.
5. Teaches them to follow instructions
Gardening is a step by step process and getting children to be a part of that process teaches them to follow instructions in a fun way.
6. Teaches Patience
It can take 2 weeks for a seed to sprout a tiny leaf and 90 days for it to be a complete plant (some more). But children get to visually learn the stages, and that connection is cemented.
7. Teaches Self confidence
The saying “reap what you sew” comes to mind. The wonders of completing something that creates something more is satisfying to an adult and awe-inspiring to child. Studies also show that the more a child does and the more they explore a task on their own, the more confident they feel in their own ability and we all know that harnessing that confidence and letting a child feel pride in their task is bigger than just gardening, its life-changing.