42. Gardening

We all want our children to spend more time outside and gardening is a great way to give them a reason for getting out there on a regular basis.

Gardening is something they can start to do from a very young age – digging holes for planting and transporting leaves in the autumn – and can become more complex as they grow older, whether it’s growing their own fruit and veg, encouraging wildlife into the garden or designing their own alpine rockery.

Spending time in the garden is a fun way to build gross-motor strength and co-ordination (learning to drive a wheelbarrow and raking up grass cuttings) but it’s also good for focussing on fine-motor tasks such as planting seeds and deadheading flowers with secauteurs. Through gardening children learn about the seasons and the weather, wildlife and plants. They also begin to understand the pleasure that comes from long-term projects and sticking with something over time – an important skill in today’s fast-paced world.

 

Best of all gardening is something you can do together, a shared project which your child can make a useful contribution to and you can collaborate on as a team. They will probably remember time spent gardening with you all their lives.

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