Resources for Gardening with Kids

by Christine Sine

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The research is in, gardening, and interacting with nature is good for our health and well being, especially for that of our kids. Living near nature dramatically impacts our health and interaction with nature decreases the health gap between rich and poor. Contact with nature helps children to develop cognitive, emotional, and behavioral connections to their nearby social and biophysical environments. Nature experiences are important for encouraging imagination and creativity, cognitive and intellectual development, and social relationships. (Read the articleKids in particular suffer from nature deficit disorder and as I talk about in attention deficit disorder can be alleviated by encouraging kids to spend more time outdoors.

There is also evidence that exposure to soil bacteria could improve our health by boosting our immune system.  And believe it or not even Sniffing Compost Makes You Happy – Literally

Other studies suggest that just looking at nature can improve our health and reduce the time it takes us to recover from surgery.  So imagine what a difference a whole afternoon outside can do.

Getting our kids involved in the garden can have even more benefits. In her article Go Outside and Play: Four Reasons Why Exposure to Nature is Essential To a Child’s WellbeingSuzy DeYoung talks about the amazing health benefits of getting kids outside.   According to the EPA indoor air pollution is the US’s number one environmental health concern.  They encourage kids to get outside and play but I think that working in the garden can be even more beneficial.

So lets get our kids outside. Here are some resources to help:

From organic gardening:

School gardening tips.

Gardening with kids 

From Permaculture Research institute – a great series of articles on gardening with kids

Getting kids into the garden – creating a butterfly garden 

 Creating a pizza garden 

Creating a resilience garden

Creativity in the garden

Great curriculum for children and gardening from Presbyterian Church

Practice just eating 

From National Gardening association

Kid’s gardening

From Container gardening for kids 

Gardening with kids

From Gardening Gallery

Fun Garden crafts for kids

And in case you missed it here is a general gardening and spirituality resource list





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