8 reasons to get your kids out into the garden this spring
Theres no doubt that gardening, in all its various guises, is a fun and healthy activity for kids. Gardening provides a lot of enjoyment and it has huge educational and health implications too.
Give children a bucket, like these picturing farmyard animals from Perfectplants.co.uk, and they will be happy for hours!
Why are gardens good for children?
Lets look at the great positive benefits of gardening with kids.
with children encourages them to eat their produce
and this hopefully leads to a healthy, balanced diet.
Kids love going outdoors, especially when there are jobs to do
The language of science can be applied and enjoyed
Children will soon be using and understanding scientific terminology. They will enjoy activities such as sprouting seeds during germination. They'll also talk about compost and growing medium. There's no end of topics for discussion and interest. Sunlight; watering; feeding; habitats and more. The kids will also learn the names of different parts of plants.
Germination is a great thing to witness!
Kids just love to get their hands dirty!
Gardening provides a balance to the highly-sanitised existence often forced upon children. The hygiene hypothesis
suggests that childhood exposure to germs can help to improve immunity to disease.
Soil feels great - kids love to get their hands dirty!
The physical activity experienced during gardening is an excellent way to get children moving about.
Theres nothing more down to earth than digging, pushing a wheelbarrow, moving soil and carrying watering cans.
Gardening builds up strength, balance, coordination and a nurturing attitude. Gardening doesn't need computers or phones!
Give children a wheelbarrow, some soil, plants, watering can and encouragement and they will have a wonderful time.
Caring for plants is a soothing, positive activity. It allows kids to focus on something outside their normal classroom-based tasks.
Most kids love the opportunity to do something active outside. They dont realise just how much they are learning. Gardening releases children's stress, reduces anxiety levels and improves self-esteem.
A planter, such as this herb wheel timber planter from Grange, provides a perfect patch for growing small plants.
Which other topics can be incorporated into gardening tasks?
Gardening develops a multitude of skills! Maths, literacy, art, science, physical education, PSHE (personal, social and health education) and more, including responsibility.
Science, maths, numeracy, literacy, gardening and children make a perfect match.
Theres absolutely no doubt that social skills are engaged and improved during gardening activities.
Gardening gives kids a great opportunity for team building and communication. Gardening in a group leads naturally to exercising reasoning skills. There are plenty of leadership opportunities together with practice at following instructions and turn-taking.
Playing outdoors for children is a great way to practice social skills, leadership, listening and teamwork.
Gardening forms a great introduction to environmental topics.
Gardening is part of nature and the activity leads kids easily into other topics. Recycling, energy, organics, composting, the seasons, drought, flooding, the effects of the sun and more.
Recycling and all aspects of the environment are part of the learning process that bears relevance to kids in the garden.
Your chance to nominate a young person who could be the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2017!
Theres just under four weeks left for you to nominate a young person who could be selected as the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year.
Each year the RHS chooses a young person, aged 5-16 years, who demonstrates a true passion for gardening. The successful pupil will be someone who has made an outstanding contribution to their school or local community. They will probably demonstrate skills beyond their years.
The RHS is looking for keen young gardeners who might be worthy winners of the Young School Gardener of the Year
The award is supported by Gabriel Ash,
a company that supplies superior quality greenhouses, cold frames and glasshouses and the prize includes a quality cold frame and £500 for the school. All finalists will also receive a Baby Grand Cold Frame, worth £475 each.
Cold frames are great for growing.
RHS Campaign for School Gardening
Anyone can nominate a child, provided their school is registered to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
. Un-registered schools can sign up for free at www. schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk.
Follow the instructions to nominate a young person by completing and returning an entry form and using the nominate now facility. The deadline for entries is 5pm Friday 28th April 2017
. The RHS will shortlist 16 finalists. The RHS will send each finalist a digital camera and they can then make a short film demonstrating why they are an exemplary gardener.
A giant teapot watering can from Perfectplants.co.uk, turns gardening into a lot of fun.
Four winners, one from each age group, will then be selected by a panel of celebrity gardening judges and judges from the RHS. One of these four will be selected as the overall winner and crowned RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2017.
There will be winners in all age categories, then one young gardener will be selected as the overall RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2017
Perfect Plants is an on-line supplier of garden plants and house plants. The company also supplies garden equipment, furniture and gifts including garden equipment for children. Tel: 01323 833479