Gardening inspires children to eat fruit and vegetables nurture a love for nature, promotes social interaction and encourages observation, discovery, experimenting, and learning. Gardens are living laboratories, offering interdisciplinary lessons drawn from real-life experiences, encouraging children to become active participants in the learning process.
Hands-on activities like gardening allow children to explore at their own pace. It's never too early to get kids excited about gardening. Children with a love of gardening grow into adults with a passion for plants and respect for the environment.
The Benefits of Kids' Gardens
A child's early years are a crucial time of development - and the educational experiences during these first years significantly influence every individual's lifelong development.
Studies show that school gardens are a positive influence in developing a child's preference for consuming fruits and vegetables, increase parental support and involvement and improve children’s enthusiasm about preschool/childcare, teamwork skills, and self-understanding. Gardens can be easily integrated into classroom learning and can be as simple as a raised bed or a few containers.
Why Are Kids' Are gardens so Successful?
· Children are active and engaged.
· Gardening builds on prior learning and experiences with their environment.
· The garden provides opportunities for children to develop a relationship with nature.
· Gardening projects are flexible and can be as small as a container garden in a window or as large as a schoolyard habitat.
· Gardening lessons emphasize direct experience and sensory learning and provide opportunities to both ask and answer questions.
Preschool children are active learners who experience the world through their senses, physical involvement, active play, and behaviors modeled by adults and peers. Research shows that the preschool years are a particularly sensitive period in the formation of life-long habits and taste preferences.
Gardening promotes nutritional education at the preschool level. This kind of education is instrumental in influencing the development of healthy eating habits. Research indicates that when students learn where food comes from, how it is grown, have hands-on experiences, and use their senses to understand it, they are more likely to taste new food items, accept them as part of their diet, and build a foundation of lifelong healthy choices. At Healthy Toddlers Care, we promote these principles by teaching children how to cultivate their own vegetables and fruits in our garden and encouraging healthy eating habits.