HOW GARDENING CAN BE USED TO HELP CHILDREN THROUGH THE LOCKDOWN
Each and every one of our lives is currently being ruled by the situation of Covid-19 and the national lockdown. However, it has enabled us to explore one area in depth, our gardens. Our gardens have enabled us to escape into our own little world and work on maintaining them. Although, if there is one thing this current lockdown has taught us is how to keep the younger members of the household entertained. Kids are bundles of energy: enthusiastic, curious…and relentless!
Of course, the Great Outdoors can keep them amused and outdoors is the perfect classroom to feed their hungry minds. Children are like sponges, so it is imperative to use this to their advantage (and yours!) by teaching them skills that are pivotal towards nature, patience, teamwork and value. Below we will explore just how gardening can be essential for children right now.
ENCOURAGES HEALTHY EATING
Healthy eating is becoming an ever more important element within general society. In terms of children, a healthy and balanced diet is pivotal for the brain and body development. However, getting children to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables can be difficult. By having children grow their own crop such as carrots, lettuce, tomatoes etc. they will then have a sense of pride in eating food that they have helped to create. This will go a long way in emphasising the importance of a healthy balanced diet to children.
In turn, children will start to love exploring and eating a wider range of fruits and vegetables, helping to make meal times easier for parents. If you’re lucky, your little one might even be open to the possibility of eating their sprouts on Christmas Day…maybe even encouraging adults to eat their own sprouts and vegetables!
GARDEN INSECT HUNTS!
This is a Biology lesson which they will love! simply send your little one into the garden and see what varieties of insects they can find. Not only they will be able to see some of their favourites, it also presents an opportunity to discover new insects and bugs which they have not seen before. Also, why not have an art lesson at the same time? get your child to draw some bugs that they find. This should help to get them creative and keep them entertained for a longer period.
HELPS TO CREATE BONDS WITH FAMILY
Although in this lockdown we have been spending virtually all our time with our household members, gardening can help create long-lasting and unique bonds. In addition, spending quality family time together can be a great method in encouraging your little ones to want to spend time in the garden. Parents can make children feel connected to the garden through allowing them to help choose types of flowers and plants which can be put within the garden area.
Regular gardening can help to sustain and further develop relationships, whilst also laying the foundations of hard work and the importance of team work. Having such values at a young age can be such as fundamental life skill.
HELPS TO ENGAGE AND DEVELOP SENSES
It is said that children learn best when their senses are being fully engaged. When gardening, kids can touch and feel seeds, flowers, dirt as well as seeing a wide array of colours and varying in sized plants. In addition to the vast scents of flowers, children can develop these senses in more detail through gardening. Allowing all the senses to be involved helps kids understand and grasp the concept of gardening along with all the scientific concepts that go along with it.
MAKING THE MOST OF THE WEATHER
Has your child during lockdown spent most of their time playing computer games and baulks at the idea of going outside because they “have nothing to do out there?” Well, you won’t be the only one. Planting and general gardening is a great method in enticing your children outside. Children are naturally curious and like to check the progress of plants or vegetables that they have planted.
It is important to remember that getting kids outside helps to keep them active, creative and reduces stress levels whilst making them smarter!
THE GARDEN IS THE PERFECT PLAY AREA
Children playing outside is unfortunately not as common as it used to be as electronic devices such as tablets, phones and consoles take up a lot of their spare time. However, playing out in the garden has so many health benefits, in addition to being lots of fun! With the current restrictions in place, getting out in the garden as much as possible is important.
Playing outside exposes kids to the natural environment and gives them important vitamins such as vitamin D from the sun, which is imperative with regards to children growing up with healthy skin. The fresh air which is further aided by the plants they have helped to plant in the garden is another great reason to encourage kids to play in the garden.
We hope that the above examples will help encourage kids to spend as much as time as possible in the garden as it has so many health benefits for them as well as being a great way to help them burn off some of their never-ending supply of energy which they have stored up over this period of lockdown. Thus, the garden presents the perfect opportunity to enable children to participate in activities which are both fun and educational.
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