Gardening offers so many opportunities for young children, whether they have a large open space to explore, or a few containers on a patio, the benefits are plentiful.
1) Gardening is a multi-sensory activity
2) It's a pleasurable experience that can create memories that last a lifetime.
3) Children can choose what they wish to grow. Minnie loves beans & peas, so has decided to grow these again this year.
4) It offers an opportunity to ponder, wonder & appreciate the beauty of nature
5) It offers seamless links to maths, science, language & literacy, art & creativity, knowledge & understanding of the world, & so much more
6) It can encourage an interest & enthusiasm for nature & our living planet.
7) It offers a chance to discover & explore minibeasts, insects & their habitats.
8) Gardening enables children to understand that their actions have an impact.
9) There are endless opportunities to learn about the weather & it's effects on plants & insects.
10) It provides a hands on opportunity to explore the life cycle of plants. How great that in Spring you can plant a sunflower seed, collect seeds from the plant in Autumn, & grow again next Spring!
11) Gardening is an inclusive activity, any age or ability can take part.
12) It encourages fine & gross motor skills.
13) Gardening offers great opportunities for interaction between young & old, parent & child, & between peers.
14) Gardening can build self-esteem, offering a sense of achievement & satisfaction.
15) It offers children a chance to actively explore what makes plants grow (heat, light, water, soil etc)
16) Growing a plant enables children to care for & nurture something living.
17) It provides an opportunity to explore the seasons & why some plants only grow at certain times of the year.
18) It encourages children to think about where their food comes from.
19) It can encourage children to recycle & reuse (e.g. creating recycled planters, using rainwater, making homemade compost, etc)
20) Homegrown food is organic, cheap to grow, & always tastes so much better! :)
And of course gardening is fun too!