The best way to teach a child is by engaging all the senses. Gardening is a great way to do that as kids can feel the dirt, see the colours, shapes and sizes of the plants, hear the snap, rustle or crunch of leaves and stems and inhale the scent of the garden herbs flowers and vegetables.
Responsibility One of the best things kids can learn in the garden is responsibility. Charging them with the task of looking after their seeds and plants and nurturing them until they blossom is a great learning curve and can also be tied in and used as a metaphor for lessons in caring for one another.
Patience The ˜Now generation' is used to instant fulfilment. That is not possible with a living growing thing. It takes time and care and, above all, patience to grow a healthy garden, which is something that not all children are taught these days.
Fine Motor Skills Gardening is a great way for kids to improve their fine motor skills. Digging, sowing and balancing watering cans improves strength and dexterity.
Planning and Organisation There is a lot of planning and organisation that goes into building and growing a healthy garden. You need to consider the seasonal blooming pattern of each plant, the length of time it takes to bloom and the best time of year to plant it. Letting your children be a part of this process helps them to hone problem solving skills, while enriching their experience in organisation and planning.
Mathematics There are so many lessons in mathematics that can be taught in the garden context. From counting and measurement to graphs, fractions, shapes and angles.
Science Gardening stimulates the curiosity of children in concepts related to botany, biology and chemistry. In their own garden, they can make predictions (or hypotheses) and monitor the progress of each of their ˜experiments'.
Healthy Eating Being healthy and developing the knowledge to maintain a healthy diet is part of growing up. It's often hard to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies but it's much easier once they are involved in the process of growing the produce as they develop a sense of pride for what they have achieved.
Sustainability Getting out in the garden is the number one way for them to learn about the ecological impact of humans on the planet. It instils a sense of ownership and responsibility in them to maintain a healthy relationship with planet Earth.