In our last post, we ran out of room and time covering the value & benefits of getting children involved in gardening. We focus our attention on this, as it is a concern many face in making the most of our children’s time at home during the confines of the COVID 19 Pandemic.
If you missed the last post and want to go back and review, we covered: Preparation, Perseverance, Exercise, Gardening is for All Ages, Independence, Ecology, Conservation, and Environmental Lessons.
Here are some more benefits:
- Arts and Crafts: Creatively making your own signs identifying plants, building a raised bed or garden bench or shed, using an assortment of old clothes to craft a scarecrow are just some of the ways to have fun. (Should I mention a battle with rotten tomatoes at season’s end? Probably not.)
- Dealing with Failure: Sometimes seeds don’t come up, weeds launch a brutal take-over, the friendly deer and rabbits in your yard destroy your lettuce, your pup digs a crater in the middle of your garden, a drought strikes when you are gone on vacation and much of your garden is cooked but life goes on. All tough life lessons of gardening but we find ways and will to move on and try again.
- Accomplishment: It is a confidence builder when kids see how their work, skills learned, and plans they diligently carried out result in success.
- Fun and Entertainment: Among others, rotten tomato fights.
- The Value of Hard Work: Other than sports and a few other activities, there aren’t enough opportunities for the urban-suburban child to work and work hard where you sweat and your muscles ache at the end of the day. Digging, pulling weeds, hauling sprinkling cans full of water, hoeing, or pushing a wheeled cultivator are some of those duties where kids can learn the value and gratification from working hard.
- Benevolence and Sharing: To endure and work through the season practicing all of the values and lessons listed above, and with your well-earned harvest taking a portion to share with those in need, may be one of the best lessons of all.
Surely, there are many more benefits of getting children involved in gardening than stated here, but there is joy and the fun of discovering your own that we leave up to you. We hope with confidence and prayer (like most gardeners employ), we will soon see an end to this pandemic that has disrupted and changed so many of our lives. When the opportunity arises, bring your kids with you to the garden stores and get them involved in the selection of plants and gardening accessories. Allowing them to be part of the decision making is a start to their commitment to the garden season ahead.
-Rob McCartney, Horticulturist
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