7 Benefits of Gardening for Children

Gardening is often thought of as a hobby for the older generation, but gardening can be enjoyed by anyone and has many health benefits for people of all ages. This National Children’s Gardening Week we explore the benefits that gardening has for children and young people and how you can enjoy getting outdoors with your family. 

1. Improves Mood and Reduces Stress 

Spending time outdoors is vital for improving or maintaining positive mental health. Research has shown that by undertaking simple gardening activities, people can reduce their stress levels, and improve their mood and self-esteem. 

2. Gardening is a Form of Exercise 

Studies have found that the average child only spends 16 minutes per day outside, and less than 25% of kids meet the recommended daily level of physical activity. Digging and playing in the garden promotes increased levels of exercise, and helps kids use their imagination and creativity. 

3. Get Closer to Nature 

Children will love planting flowers which attract bees and butterflies into the garden space. Try planting sunflowers, lavender, buddleia and roses to attract pollinators into your garden. 

4. Encourages Healthy Eating

You don’t just have to plant flowers in your garden, why not try planting fruit or vegetables instead! By planting seeds or plants, you will teach your child how food is grown and the lifecycle of a plant. I have recently planted some strawberry plants with my son in my garden and he has loved helping me water his plants, once the fruit has grown, we will love eating the strawberries together and it has been a lovely bonding activity. 

5. Encourages Sensory Development 

Gardening will stimulate all five senses, children will feel different textures in the soil, seeds and plants, they will be able to smell the flowers, hear the bees and birds, see the different colours of the plants and taste any vegetables, herbs or fruits you grow together. Ask your child questions to consolidate their learning such as what colour is this flower? What does the leaf feel like? What does the strawberry taste like?

6. Allows You to Spend Quality Time Together

Life can be very hectic sometimes, with work, the school run and the never ending to do list to get through at home. Gardening allows you to take a step back and enjoy some mindful activity away from distractions; the perfect way to connect with your child and enjoy the simple things in life. 

7. It's Fun

With the cost-of-living crisis being all too real for many families, gardening is an inexpensive way of having fun. You don’t need expensive tools or plants to make a beautiful garden, just some pots, soil and some seeds, which in time, can blossom into a charming outdoor space and provide hours of fun along the way. 

Share your gardening successes with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We would love to see what you get create in your garden!

For more great tips on using gardening as a tool for improving physical and mental health read our article on the Benefits of Outdoor Living. It gives instructions and tips on how to grow your own vegetables and plants, promoting a cleaner, greener and happier lifestyle.

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