Introducing kids to gardening provides numerous rewards. Not only do children experience nature in action, but also they enjoy healthy, outdoor activities. Children who experience vegetable gardening learn about health and nutrition, while the very act of gardening involves mathematical skills and explores scientific laws and properties. Children learn how to plan and design living spaces while working with others in a cooperative manner. As children care for, nurture, and maintain gardens, they learn invaluable lessons in responsibility that will last a lifetime. Whether they are planting flowers, herbs, or vegetables, children can derive many benefits from gardening.
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Planting flowers is an enjoyable experience that many children readily enjoy. The process of planting seeds and watching them sprout and then blossom into beautiful, sturdy plants provides children with a sense of wonder as well as pride. By growing plants from seeds, children often feel a sense of accomplishment they might not experience with other hobbies. Several plants are known for their magnificent blossoms while being easy for children to grow, making them the perfect choice for beginning gardeners. Sunflowers are a flower known for their amazing height and beauty. Young children often marvel that they grew such a large flower from a seed. As sunflowers are durable, sturdy, and easy to grow, they are a great choice for a child’s first contribution to the garden. Other popular flowers include daisies, pansies, zinnias, and marigolds. When choosing flowers to plant, ensure that you select those that are suitable for your environmental conditions. Adding flowers to the garden and landscape helps beautify the area. Let children help in the planning stages and offer them easy-to-grow flowers to ensure their success.
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Herb gardens are a great way to introduce children to the importance of nutrition. Children can have their own space in the garden where they are in charge of planting various herbs, ensuring that they are fully engaged in the gardening experience. As herbs can be picked from the garden and then immediately used in the kitchen, children often experience a great sense of reward with the fruits of their labor. Herbs have various textures, carry strong aromas, and provide different tastes. They are an exciting addition to the garden and provide children with a wealth of sensory activities.
One of the advantages of growing herbs is that children may start growing their plants indoors, such as in window boxes or containers, then transfer them to the outdoor garden when the plants are stronger. As people use a variety of herbs in daily life, the child’s herb garden should be carefully designed based upon purpose and theme. Some choose to create an herb garden based upon salad or seasoning herbs. These include herbs such as basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and dill. Other herbs may be used in teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, and lemon. Popular additions to a child’s herb garden also include basil, oregano, lavender, and sage. Whatever theme you choose, you’ll find that an herb garden is a wonderful way to get children excited about gardening.
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There may be no better way to get kids eating their vegetables than to have them grow them. Vegetables are often the most important aspect of the human diet, yet they can be the most neglected. By involving children in the vegetable garden, they become familiar with various vegetables and take an active role in the growing process. When children watch vegetables transform from seed to a tomato-covered vine or stalks of corn, they are more interested in tasting the bounty. Have children begin with vegetables that are easy to grow and maintain so they will remain excited about their gardening project. Popular vegetables that are easy to grow and suitable for beginning gardeners include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, radishes, beans, peas, and salad greens. Choosing easy-to-grow vegetables helps ensure that children have successful gardening experiences.