Alicia DeVore

If you’ve been considering ways to enrich your children’s lives and education while they are homeschooling, then learning about gardening may be the answer. It was an unexpected answer for me and my family.

Research has shown that when children get involved in garden activities such as planting seeds and harvesting vegetables, they not only have fun but also develop a variety of skills essential for their development. In this blog post, I want to share 6 ways gardening helps a child’s development.

6 ways gardening can hlep your child to develop with side view of soil and hands in dirt

Learning About Gardening

Experience the joy of learning through hands-on activities in the garden. Taking the learning outside not only makes learning fun, but also enhances understanding and helps gets kids engaged with what they are learning by watching it happen in front of their eyes.

The Hard Part

Let’s talk about the hard part of gardening, setting up a small space for small plant in. But once the gardening space is planted or containers or in place, you and your kids can enjoy the benefits of a successful garden experience.

There are four elements that need to be in place in vegetable garden in order to have a fun, successful vegetable garden: location, soil, water, and the timing of the plants in the right growing season. This is explained in the 4-part Simple Gardening Method that is taught in the online course for families learning how to garden.

Add webinar sign up or something that is for kids.

Let’s take a look at the 6 ways that gardening helps a child’s development.

#1 Boosting Motor Skills

Gardening can be a fun, hands-on way for children to strengthen their motor skills. Through activities such as digging, scooping, raking, and planting, children can improve both their fine and gross motor skills. These skills are essential for everyday tasks such as writing, using scissors, and playing sports.

Gardening also provides a unique learning experience where children can observe and interact with plants, soil and wildlife. Not only does it promote physical development, and health but it can also start a love for nature and a sense of responsibility for taking care of our environment.

One fun project is to research with your kids the native plants that grow best in the soil of your area. These will be plants that grow well and provide food sources for local wildlife and can also provide fresh produce for your family.

young child planting cabbage plant with a smile

2.Exploring Science Skills

Learning science concepts naturally in a hands-on approach is a powerful tool. Engaging in gardening activities can help kids better understand everything from germination and photosynthesis to life cycles and the water cycle. These lessons aren’t needed to be taught in a book when kids are able to observe and take notice of what happens in the garden.

This interactive experience of being in the fresh air helps to make science more tangible and applicable to their daily lives. Plus, what better way to learn than to witness firsthand how plants grow, change, and what healthy food they produce? Check out these 4 mini-courses (Summer Pot Projects, Fall Pot Projects, Winter Pot Projects, and Spring Pot Projects) to garden in pots with your kids. Use them especially if you don’t have much space or are not sure where to start.

young boy spraying a hose in the garden with joy

3.Builds Self-Confidence

There’s something truly special about watching a plant grow from a tiny seedling to a full-fledged plant that is producing its own food and that food is delicious. And for children, this process can be especially exciting. Expanding on a child’s natural curiosity perfectly fit with spending time in the garden.

Caring for plants gives a child development sense of pride and accomplishment when they see their efforts rewarded with blooming flowers or ripe vegetables. Through the simple act of planting and nurturing something, children can develop invaluable self-confidence as they watch their small garden flourish before their eyes.

4.Cultivating Responsibility

Becoming more responsible is a crucial part of growing up, and one way children learn to develop this skill is by tending a garden. When children are tasked with growing plants, they learn that it takes dedication and hard work to nurture them.

They must water the plants consistently, weed around them, and be on the lookout for pests that could jeopardize the growth of their garden. Through these activities, children gain a sense of responsibility and learn how to care for something beyond themselves. A garden also provides a way for children to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty and benefits of gardening the world around them.

girl with hands full of dirt from working in garden.

5.Teaching Patience

Gardening is more than just a hobby. The gardening process helps to get children involved by cultivating plants and annual flowers. It can teach children valuable life skills like patience. As they plant tiny seeds down into the soil, they learn that growing a plant takes time as they wait for that seed to sprout and then to grow big.

But this waiting period can be a valuable life lesson. The lesson is that good things come to those who are patient especially in a garden. Gardening cultivates the virtue of patience and teaches children to appreciate the process of growth emotional development.

3 boys exploring with magnifying glass in the grass

6.Enhancing Cognitive Skills Through Gardening

Working in a garden can be a fun and engaging activity for children, but it also provides an opportunity for them to enhance their cognitive skills. As they tend to their plants, children are tasked with processing information and using logic to determine the best way to care for each individual plant.

Additionally, gardening encourages thinking outside the box, as children must problem solve and adapt their ideas to changing conditions in the garden in order to ensure their plants thrive. This combination of logic and creativity can help children develop crucial cognitive and social skills too, all while enjoying the benefits of being outdoors and cultivating a green thumb.

3 kids carrying things in from the garden, smiling

In Conclusion:

Gardening has many health benefits to children- from strengthening motor skills, learning various science concepts, increasing self-confidence, developing responsibility and teaching patience. It even provides an opportunity to improve cognitive function with the application of cognitive abilities, logic and creativity when problem solving in the garden.

Simply put, gardening is a fun way for kids to get outside and learn something new while reaping the rewards of their labor as they watch plants and flowers grow from seed to harvest.

Simple Gardening Method with Kids Course

If you’re interested in more ideas for starting your own backyard gardening project with your kids, why not join our webinar: From Nothing to Harvest – Learning to Garden with Kids? During the webinar, you will have a chance to see what kind of garden will fit your family’s needs.

A garden can be a source of joy for the entire family, so sign up now for the webinar on how to grow from nothing to harvest or jump into the 12-week Simple Gardening Method with Kids Course with weekly LIVE classes that is offered in July, beginning of September, February, and March to accelerate your dream garden with your family.

 6 important ways gardening helps your childs development with child holding a basket of veggies from the garden


How old should a child be to start gardening?

There is no set age for a child to start gardening. Children as young as two years old can start to participate in simple activities such container gardening such as watering their own plants or helping to plant seeds, while more complex tasks like weeding and pruning are better left for older children.

Even taking your kids at any age to a local garden center gives you a chance for a field trip that gives you endless things to explore and enjoy. You can also visit community gardens in your area for quiet inspiration. Bring a lunch and a picnic blanket and soak in the beauty of being in nature.

What are the benefits of gardening?

Gardening is a great way to teach children important life skills such as patience, responsibility, and problem-solving. It can also help them gain a better understanding of science concepts and build self-confidence. Additionally, it provides a fun way to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the natural world around them. Kids also are more willing to try the fruits and veggies they grew in a garden helping to develop healthy eating habits.

What type of plants are best for kids to grow?

The types of plants that are best for children to grow depend on their age and skill level. For younger children, it is best to start off with plants that are fast-growing and easy to take care of, such as sunflowers or tomatoes. For older kids, more challenging plants like peppers and herbs can be grown.

How big should the garden be?

The size of the garden will depend on how much space you have available and what type of plants plant flowers and vegetables you wish to grow. If your family is just starting out, a small garden is recommended. As your children become more experienced with gardening, you can gradually expand the size of the the garden space and introduce new plants and activities.

What type of garden is best for children?

The best type of garden for children is one that is easily accessible and has a variety of plants that can be grown with minimal effort. Gardens should also include elements such as flowers, vegetables, herbs, and fruits in their gardens in order to create gardens that to keep kids engaged and interested. Additionally, gardens should have plenty of space for children to explore and play in.

Finally, a garden should be designed with the environment and safety in mind. Be sure to include proper fencing and netting to keep children from harming themselves or the plants.

What if everything I have grown in the past has died? How can I teach my kids to garden if I don’t know how?

It is completely normal to have plants that don’t survive, even for experienced gardeners. If you need help teaching your kids how to garden, there are several resources available on the Create My Garden site. Check out this page of resources to garden with your kids.

Can I take my kids to community gardens to start gardening?

Yes! Starting in a community garden that is set up for growing will get you growing faster and quicker. You can garden with your kids anywhere there is sun and soil!

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About the Author

Alicia has been teaching her whole life from elementary teacher to workshops for beginning gardeners.  Go HERE to read Alicia's story into gardening from plant killer to pro grower and garden coach.  If you want to send Alicia a quick message, then use her contact page HERE.

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