The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have recently conducted a study that proves that children who learn to garden are healthier, happier individuals. Gardening teaches them patience as well as ingraining the facts of healthier eating, and a gardener is more likely to eat fruit and vegetables if introduced in earlier life- and not just their own crops.
Gardening Creates Happy Children
They also found that happiness comes from gardening, with the green fingered children able to live for the present whilst looking forward to the changing of the seasons no matter what they bring and when in winter, the ground is frozen and the unpredictability of the weather stops play in the garden, a young horticulturist will develop problem solving techniques they can then use in later life.
It’s a shame that in our urbanized society this life tool is becoming lost and no longer do people have access to gardens on a daily basis. However no matter how small your spot, plants can be grown on windowsills, in pots in yards or on balconies, or even caring for houseplants.
There are many ways to teach gardening to children, not least with the abundance of quick growing seeds they can plant, however begin with the essentials.
Use real tools- Plastic varieties may be pleasing to the eye and attractive, however a child will soon become disheartened if their trowel breaks or doesn’t do the job yours does. There is a lot of metal gardening tools for children on the market now, so invest in some good ones, or quite simply buy adult tools. All of our forks and trowels have miniature sizes for houseplants that will do the job brilliantly.
Give them control – Although it’s tempting to take over when you know the seed they’ve planted isn’t deep enough, or they’ve over watered the courgettes, bite your tongue. Keep it simply and praise a job well done. Give them freedom to what to plant and where in their own little bed (an old sandpit is perfect) and if you must interfere wait until they’re in bed and do a little behind the scenes weeding and titivating, but don’t let on!
Make a big deal – When they do produce something, be it Daisy’s for a vase or a beetroot for the salad, make a big deal of it. Help to harvest, wash and let them help prepare it for dinner, or place in water for a table display. They’ll feel ever so proud as everyone compliments them on their super sweet harvest.
Involve extended family members – When having visitors, be sure to show everyone the children’s patch, make them feel special by taking photograph’s and sending them to grandparents, and above all praise every effort no matter how little the results.
With all of this you’ll soon be on your way to a healthier happier child, and the best part is, whilst they’re indulging in a little bit of flora care, you can too, making a trip outdoors to the garden a great affordable day out for all of the family!
This guest post was written by Martina Mercer. She is a lover of all things garden including plug plants and spring bulbs.