People of all ages can enjoy gardening, but children in particular will have lots of fun and gain special benefits. Children can learn new skills, have fun, play and develop self-confidence by spending time in the garden tending plants and growing their own food. Most children enjoy being outdoors and love digging in the soil, getting dirty, creating things and watching plants grow. Gardening is educational and develops new skills including:
Plant selection for children
Children like large, brightly coloured flowers and vegetables that grow quickly. Plants such as sunflowers, corn and pumpkins are good examples. Varieties of plants that have sensory and textural qualities should be considered as well. Examples of great sensory plants include:
Different-aged children in the garden
Toddlers, preschoolers, primary-school-aged and older children will all have different expectations and will learn different things in the garden. Younger children will require careful supervision during activities. Suitable tasks for younger children include watering plants, harvesting produce and planting seeds. Older children are physically capable of handling a greater variety of activities, like digging, carrying, planting, mulching and pruning.
Adopted Article From: Parents primer, Kids Gardening, National Gardening Association, USA.
Learning naturally – gardening with children, National Childcare Accreditation Council.