Before the advent of personal technology and social media, parents and their kids had no other choice but to actually talk and interact with each other. Alas, the new normal is entire families fixated on their screens without exchanging a single word. But, it doesn’t have to always be like this. One way for everyone to connect is to put aside their phones and engage in gardening together. Other benefits include making kids smarter and healthier – here’s why.
1. Students Score Higher on Science Tests
Gardening is a fun way to do science. Children are introduced to the study of botany in a completely natural, hands-on way. They learn about plant classification, the makeup of the soil, plant pests and diseases, the weather, and more.
2. Kids Will Eat Healthy Food If They Grow It
Children love to dig up what they have planted and watched grow. Then, their curiosity gets the better of them, and they want to find out what it tastes like – even if it’s green!
3. Digging in the Dirt Is Good
Research shows that youngsters brought up on farms don’t suffer from as many autoimmune disorders or respiratory allergies or have as much asthma as children raised in urban areas. The reason is that life on farms exposes kids to fungi and microbes in the soil.
4. A Garden Is a Teacher
Gardening teaches kids various important life skills, including:
- Patience – If a seed is sown, gratification is delayed as it takes time for the seed to sprout and grow.
- Responsibility – If regular watering is forgotten, plants will die.
- Perseverance – If animals eat the lettuce, ways must be found to prevent this.
- Coping with Disappointment – Often, things planted don’t grow as expected.
- Collaboration – Working with siblings and other family members to get the garden work done.
5. Gardening Relieves Stress
A garden can be therapeutic for family health. Even though a fourth grader is not feeling the demands of a high-pressure job, kids can feel stress. Studies show that gardening can restore stressed-out people to a more positive mood. If adults and children engage in gardening, family health will improve, and everyone will feel more harmonious together.
6. Gardening Teaches Problem Solving
When they garden, kids learn problem-solving skills, such as:
- How to make a trellis work better to support a particular kind of plant.
- How to stop whatever is eating the radishes.
- How to possibly make a tree healthier.
Children may become so absorbed in solving the problems in a garden that they will head to their computers for a good reason – to research the best answers.
7. Gardening Provides Healthy Physical Activity
Gardening involves physical labor using muscles that don’t always get a workout. When gardening, you bend, stretch, dig, pull, lift, and rake using fine and gross motor skills. Even the youngest gardener given simple tasks becomes physically active.
8. Gardening Can Lead to a Longer Healthier Life
Teaching children to garden can give them a love for gardening that will follow them through life and benefit them when they are older. Research shows that older adults who get off the couch to garden live longer and healthier lives. Sow the seeds of a garden with your children today, and see them reap the health benefits for a lifetime.
The whole family gains health and nutritional benefits from gardening. And, with the alarming rates of obesity and even diabetes in children, gardening provides kids with physical activity out in the fresh air. What matters most of all is everyone spending quality time with each other and working to create something special. Gardening together produces a healthy family with strong interpersonal bonds.
- To keep all families as healthy as possible, regular dental care is a must. If you live in or near Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry is a family dental practice that is dedicated to providing the best oral care for your family health. So, put down that garden trowel and give us a call today.