Top 8 Reasons to Grow a Garden with Your Kids
1. Gardening brings peace
There is just something calming about being outside in nature. Maybe it's because your plants don't talk back to you, or bark, or meow, or make any verbal requests of you. There have been many times when one of my children has been acting out that we have sent them out to weed in the garden. They usually don't like it, and protest strongly, but they almost always come back in the house much calmer.
2. It teaches patience
We live in a society of instant gratification. Texting, Amazon, microwaves, and YouTube can give us what we need in the touch of a button. When you plant a sunflower seed, you're not going to get anything out of it for weeks. It's a great, natural way to learn patience.
3. It's fascinating to see the life cycle of a plant
Since we live in a world of grocery stores, many children (or even adults) don't know what the plants look like that their food comes from. It's such a great education for them to see what part of the plant they are eating, and what the plants look like. It's truly remarkable to see how a tiny little seed can grown into a big plant that bears fruits or vegetables to eat.
4. It helps curb picky eating
When the kids help grow it, they have so much more ownership over the food. They will be much more interested in tasting it. Plus, fresh grown produce tastes so much better than the store stuff that has been picked long before hitting the shelves.
5. It saves you a trip to the store
This is my favorite when we have a lot going in the summer. It's wonderful to grab a few cucumbers and tomatoes sliced up with some salt instead of cooking something up that will add to the heat in my house. If you're staying off the store, not only does it save you money in groceries (although you do have the initial investment of garden installation), but it usually will save money in impulse buying as well.
6. You can Preserve it For Later
Another great thing to teach your children is how to preserve the produce that you grow. This is also a lot of work, but brings such a feeling of accomplishment when you are finished. I feel so accomplished when I have a counter lined with jars full of tomatoes or applesauce.
7. It's an activity for the family to bond together
Working side by side as a family can be a great time for hard conversations. Sometimes it's easier to bring things up you've been needing to talk about when you're not looking at each other directly and your hands are busy.
And often the kids will attest, the bonding that occurs is because we are all in misery and suffering together! Ha! Ha!
8. Getting Hands on with Nature
I'm sure my kids spend way more time making mud pies and collecting bugs than they do with the plants. Some of their favorite memories together are when they've found families of frogs or lizards living in our garden. These are such great ways to let your children explore and appreciate nature. Playing in the mud can also be a great tactile experience for them. I don't always love how dirty the kids get, but nature really is fun!!