Benefit of Gardening in Early Childhood

If you're looking for a wonderful hands-on activity to share with young children, gardening should be at the top of the list, as it provides benefits that can help enhance children's intellect, motor skills and well-being.
Whether your family wants to start a vegetable garden or desires to add more flowers to your front yard bed, here are some ways your children can benefit from gardening:


Educational Boosts

Spending time at your side in the garden helps young children exercise their cognitive skills. First, they are familiarized with science and math concepts ' from counting seeds to watching plants develop - including:
 - Math concepts: counting, addition and division are directly linked to how we sow seeds, whereas multiplication is readily practiced at harvest.
 - Scientific concepts: research, observation and planning skills are essential to successfully growing plants in the garden. Science concepts like the life cycle, and even photosynthesis are easily explained to children who are watching plants grow firsthand.


Health Benefits

Perhaps the most valuable gifts gardening offers young children are in this category. Children who grow vegetables and herbs generally develop a taste for a wider range of fresh vegetables and fruits because they're directly exposed to participating and watching many types of plants that they grow. Gardening can also serve as moderate exercise for all ages, yielding a burn of up to 400 calories per hour.


Overall Wellness

Children who are included in gardening projects benefit from the widely touted benefits of working outdoors - including relaxation, better mood balance, improved focus, better recall and lower stress. If gardening is new to you and your child, start with a small project to build confidence, plus a positive experience with gardening. Then add complexity as you become more familiar and better versed in these skill sets.