Our enthusiastic parent partner, Shikha, mother of the twins, Aayush & Atharv, says –
Gardening helps in having a healthy body, an active mind and a peaceful soul. Children love to get their hands soiled in mud and are excited to play with water. Getting dirty while gardening brings them closer to nature and strengthens their immunity and overall health. It involves physical activity and provides exposure to sunlight which is very important for healthy growth. Activities like moving soil, carrying a watering can, digging the soil and pushing a wheelbarrow promotes gross motor skills and overall strength for a fit body. Also, due to these activities, children stay calm and focused, which increases their concentration in studies and other work. They become more focused and responsible. While gardening we should also teach them how to clean the surface once work is done. This promotes a sense of cleanliness in them.
How can gardening affect the Soul, Mind and Body?
In this electronic age, chidlren and parents alike, need to create time for meaningful family connection. Gardening involvement fosters team building spirit and promotes communication skills. They follow and learn that there is a protocol for doing any work, which if not done in a correct manner will not yield the desired result. For example, while planting, kids will benefit as follows:
1. Select which flower or plant you need to plant as per weather or choice. This encourages kids to take decisions.
2. Depending on the height of the plant, need to dig a hole or select size of vase. This develops a sense of adjustment as per requirement.
3. While providing fertilizer to plants, we can teach the importance of nutrition for any living being, which applies to kids as well.’
4. Pouring water on daily basis reminds them of responsibility and consistency towards any work.
5. Whenever plants, flowers or leaves die or wilt, we teach kids how to cut them off and trim it.
6. Removing the dead flowers and leaves stimulates new growth and makes plants appear more beautiful and attractive. This way we can enhance the sense and necessity of grooming in kids to become more presentable. We can also explain why hair, nail cutting and taking bath is important.
7. Like plants need sunlight to grow beautiful flowers, so do children. We can make them understand the importance of sunlight in our daily life.
8. Planning a garden, planting the seeds and watching them grow, gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility. 9. Making sure that the plants get enough fertilizer, water and sun fosters mindfulness.
10. They also learn the importance of trees in our environment and this teaches them to have deep respect and sense of responsibility for taking care of our planet, and co-exist in ecosystem.
Furthermore, studies show that when children are in contact with soil during activities like digging and planting, they have improved moods, better learning experiences and decreased anxiety. Above all, the self-esteem and self-worthiness of a child increases manifold, by looking at flowers blooming on the plant they planted or eating a very fresh and delicious vegetable that he grew with his own hands. That is priceless!