1. Children learn where food comes and it’s sparks their understanding of Environmental Justice. They begin to understand how they’re interconnected with the world around them.
2. Patience-children learn to observe their surroundings and appreciate the process of growing food (or plants). They can experience the constant changes by daily interactions with nature.
3. Science-there’s many lessons biology, chemistry, etc. It makes scientific notions easier to grasp and brings a hands-on approach to learning.
4. Gardening is a wonderful opportunity to inspire art and creativity.
5. Responsibility-children learn to be caretakers who are responsible for weeding and watering their gardens. Children can learn their roles and impact on the environment.
6. Increased awareness of nutrition-Gardening exposes kids to fresh fruits and vegetables, providing them with motivation to try these healthy foods and improve their nutritional attitudes and behaviors. For example: Today Diego picked and ate lettuce he grew, he normally would fuss about eating salad but because he picked it from the garden he seemed more interested in tasting it.
7. Confidence-Children feel proud of their work when you praise their efforts and show the fruit of their labor. Taking pictures is a wonderful way to document and promote your child’s hard work. Diego feels purposeful when he’s giving the opportunity to use “grown up” tools such as shovels and rakes. He makes decisions about what he would like to grow. He’s not afraid to make a mistake because success is in our “effort” (instead of emphasizing results).
8. Gardens provide a safe place for children to experience nature and discover the cycles of life. Gardening helps kids develop an understanding of the environment, and instills love and respect for the earth.
9. Gardening is a source of physical activity. Too many young people spend a majority of their free time in front of a TV or computer screen, but gardens give them a reason to be outside and be active, and offer an opportunity to work off their excess energy and stress.
10. The garden provides a peaceful spot to relax and reflect. It also helps create community safety especially gardens in the front yard because they require your presence. The more witnesses the less crime. Plus, you get to know your neighbors which minimizes the chances of becoming a victim.