Gardening with Youth
How Gardening with Youth Can Have a Positive Affect on Their Brain, Body, and Soul!
“We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s ours garden that is really nurturing us”
When planting and tending to the garden with youth there are countless scientific concepts that you can discuss. Studies have shown that children who participated in gardening projects scored higher in science achievement than those who did not. The curiosity of watching a garden grow may even spark youth to ask questions like: Why do plants need sun?, How does a plant “drink” water?, Why are worms good for plants? You can also easily add a little math to gardening by measuring how much plants grow from week to week or counting the flowers on each plant.
The act of gardening itself can promote a healthy body. Let’s face it, children love to get their hands and feet dirty. The hygiene hypothesis is a theory that says a lack of childhood exposure to germs actually increases a child’s susceptibility to diseases such as asthma, allergies, and autoimmune condition by suppressing the development of the immune system. Getting dirty while gardening may actually strengthen a child’s immune system overall health! The act of working in the garden has been shown to help youth stay calm and focused. It can also promote gross motor skills and overall strength with activities like pushing a wheel barrow, carrying a heavy water can, and using gardening tools to dig.
In the electronic age we live, youth need time for meaningful family connection that doesn’t involve screen time. Time spent in the garden allows for team building and can promote communication skills. Studies have shown that when children participate in activities such as digging and planting in soil can improve their overall mood, stimulate better learning experiences, and decrease feelings of anxiety.
For more information please visit: http://www.nationalgardenmonth.org/index.php?page=educators or https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/gardening-for-children