Did you ever think of the valuable lessons children learn from gardening?Do you know that even in Singapore,children can experience gardening as a leisure activity?
Gardening is a great discovery activity for kids. Gardening with kids is a great way to bond with them. However, in Singapore, instead of experiencing outdoor gardening, we have to explore indoor gardening or urban gardening ideas to make it a reality. Living in an apartment with no land space, I found indoor gardening is still possible which is a great activity to spend time with the kid.
Other than a hobby, gardening is a great learning activity for any kid. What are the skills learn from gardening? Here I gathered some of the lessons children learn in the garden which makes it a valuable activity.
Skills kids learn from gardening
Children can learn so much when they garden. It is not just about the process of gardening, but about life cycles, water conservation, following directions, tending to chores and so much more. There are many valuable lessons children learn from gardening. Gardening is such a well-rounded teaching tool not only for science but also in life lessons. You will be surprised when you read this post because there are many things gardening can teach a child.
Kids become Eager to Learn
Children who garden are often much more ready and willing to learn. It gives them greater control over their own education and makes them more active seekers of knowledge. It also helps teach them problem-solving skills. Naturally, children are more curious.
They love to explore. Gardening activities allow them to explore nature. Starting from the lifecycle of a plant to discovering garden pests there are many things to explore.
As there are no many outdoor gardening experiences in Singapore, I bring the kid to parks and nearby community gardens where he can experience real gardening which makes it a different experience. Consider all these as learning opportunities apart from their textbooks.
Gardening can help children take the academic and turn it into real-world experiences. It makes children much more inquisitive and this great eagerness to learn makes it much easier to teach the basics within education.
Because of the ever-changing circumstances of gardening (such as weather changes and plant disease), it teaches children to think on their feet – making them more flexible and easier to learn problem solving skills.
These lessons children learn from gardening are invaluable!
Gardening Teaches Responsibility
Responsibility is the most important lesson which children need to cultivate from their childhood. Gardening is one of the activities which create the kid responsible for his own plants.
A lot of work goes into gardening. Watering and weeding are both important parts of keeping a garden alive. So this will help children see the importance of doing these chores if they want a healthy growing garden. Beyond that, responsible eating choices can be made through gardening. Children are more willing to try vegetables that they have grown with their own two hands. So they can discover a love for many foods they might never have tried before. Although we don’t experience much vegetable gardening in our Singapore which ends up with harvesting, we grow edible greens where the kid experience in growing his own food. Whenever we visit Sri Lanka for holidays, it is another gardening experience for him which includes harvesting.
Since gardening often requires tools and chemicals we might not normally want our children to have, we can take this time to teach them how to be careful with these items.
If you use chemicals in your garden, what it is the chemicals do to help the plants, and how they can be harmful to us are the most important lessons for children. It is also important to teach them the importance of washing our hands thoroughly after working. Also, sharp tools are not toys and gardening is a great way to teach children how to responsibly use tools.
In our balcony garden in Singapore, we use organic fertilizers and we even use our used tea bags and eggshells in our soil mixture. These are good lessons for kids to know how to use our own kitchen waste as an organic fertilizer.
Gardening is also a job skill. Let them know about earning from the crops after the harvest. Even if you do not sell your crops, let them learn that this is how we buy crops from the market. These are early job skills learned right there in your own backyard or from the urban garden.
Learning about the science behind a garden is only a very small part of what gardening can teach children. Life skills and a willingness to learn are things gardening can open up to a child’s life. So take advantage of these teaching opportunities and grow a beautiful garden with your children. You can do that even in your flat in Singapore.
Gardening Makes Children Stronger
Resiliency is important for children to have. Gardening can boost a child’s self-esteem, teach children the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs, and improve concentration.
Through many gardening setbacks such as crop damage due to insects, failed crops, or due to weather, children become more resilient. They are forced to deal with these problems and move forward to achieve their ultimate goals. Although a child who engages in indoor gardening in Singapore may not able to experience all these challenges.
However there are challenges for gardening in Singapore such as utilizing the small space, finding suitable soil mix, purchasing gardening tools and soil mix whether online or from the wet market, or even finding seeds. Kids may not understand or experience all these challenges at their young age. However, by continuing gardening, they will learn the skills gradually.
Kids will grow up with the responsibility of taking care of their own plants and later they will apply these skills to everything. At the same time, gardening is a great activity to make children closer to the environment. By planting a small plant, they will start their first step towards a green world. They will grow as responsible citizens who love the environment.
Is gardening a helpful activity for kids in Singapore?
With my experience with gardening with the kid, I know there are many benefits for him. It is a great responsibility for the kid and I found how he started taking care of his small plants watching the lifecycle from germination to a grown plant.
Children can more easily concentrate when working with a garden, making it easier to teach them many different lessons. Considering their academic studies, learning the life cycle of plants, water conservation, and even the effects of the sun on plant life are easily taught to children through gardening activities. Other than academic skills, they will learn many life skills too.
What is next? Start gardening with your children!
Do you love gardening with your kids? Please share your experience.Are there any other lessons children learn from gardening?
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)