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The Benefits Of Letting Your Kids Get Their Hands Dirty In The Garden

Access to reasonable green space makes children 24% more likely to be physically active, according to the HTA. Therefore, now is the perfect time for you and the kids to tackle any outstanding jobs in the garden and introduce them to the world of organic and sustainable living. By getting your hands dirty together, you will all enjoy some valuable family time, benefit the environment and you'll boost your offspring's wellbeing too.

Encourages healthy eating

20.1% of 10 to 11-year-olds are obese, reports The Guardian. This is because too often kids are choosing unhealthy foods, such as pizza and burgers. However, by growing your own fresh, organic produce as a family, your children will be much more inclined to eat it due to having grown it themselves. The youngest of children can get their hands dirty planting seeds, so long as you monitor them at all times. Meanwhile, older children can be given the additional responsibility of regularly watering and feeding the fruit and vegetables with recycled rainwater and organic feed. And, when the time comes to pick your own produce, you can all get stuck in, checking the ripeness and readiness of the food before plucking it from the ground.

Teaches practical skills

Earlier this year it was reported that school-age children are starting school unable to hold a pen or pencil. The reason cited was due to an increase in the use in technology. Thankfully, even if your kids are avid tech fans, the garden can teach them practical skills, such as how to handle tools, which will set them up both in the classroom and for life. Getting your children involved in woodwork is the ideal place to start as there are multiple components they can get involved in. Childcare Lounge advises that from the age of four, children should be taught how to use real tools, so long as they are supervised. Start by assisting them to nail scrap pieces of wood from sustainable sources together. Then you can move on to designing, making and painting a fun creation together, such as using recycled wood to make a swing or train to play in.

Gives responsibility

Responsibility is a life skill that can be encouraged in the garden. Preschoolers will enjoy imitating your actions and having their own plants to water. Meanwhile, weeding is the ideal task for school-age children who love to play in the dirt. Although, it is advisable to keep a close eye on them to ensure they don't start taking up your beloved plants too. Older children can be given the responsibility of chopping up the fresh organic produce you pick and disposing of the peelings in the compost. This will teach them to be responsible when it comes to recycling and food waste.

The garden offers a great family bonding opportunity. Additionally, getting outdoors together encourages healthy eating and responsibility, and teaches valuable skills that will aid your child for life.

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