Why Garden?

If you are looking to start a garden at your school or child care center, you may need help encouraging others that a garden would be a great addition to the learning environment.

Gardening provides a wide-range of benefits for children as shown in the table below. It exposes children to fresh foods, light to moderate physical activity and the opportunity for social interactions. Engaging children in the gardening process can promote learning, support the development of new skills, strengthen social skills and build healthy habits. As children plant and tend to a garden, they will feel a sense of pride as the garden produces fruits and vegetables planted by their own hands.

Academic Growth

• Hands-on learning opportunities that appeal to a variety of learning styles
• Creative learning and exploration
• Sensory experiences from digging in the soil to touching, smelling and tasting the produce

Social & Emotional Development

• Development of interpersonal relationship skills
• Stress release
• Community outreach and social responsibility awareness
• Therapeutic activity with the potential to impact mental health and well-being

Physical Benefits

• Fine and gross motor skill development
• New food experiences and being more likely to try fruits and vegetables
• Vitamin D from the sun

Environmental Appreciation

• Development of an appreciation for natural areas and green space
• Understanding the complexity of nature and the need to protect it

In addition to the benefits children receive, it is important to consider the benefits caregivers, teachers and community members experience from gardening:

  • Engagement and connection to children
  • Gardening experience that can be used at home or in other settings
  • School or center pride
  • Fundraising opportunities
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