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8 reasons to get your kids out into the garden this springThere's 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.
Why are gardens good for children?Let's look at the great positive benefits of gardening with kids. Growing food with children encourages them to eat their produce and this hopefully leads to a healthy, balanced diet.
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.
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.
The physical activity experienced during gardening is an excellent way to get children moving about.
There's 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!
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 don't realise just how much they are learning. Gardening releases children's stress, reduces anxiety levels and improves self-esteem.
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.
There's 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.
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.
Your chance to nominate a young person who could be the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2017!
There's 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 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.
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.
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.