Gremi’s Garden uses information from https://kidsgardening.org. The purpose of this design is to encourage children to play, explore, discover and collaborate in a common place where creativity and imagination come alive. Some of their highest achievements for the 2019 year include:
“Our biggest grant application cycle to date, increasing our applicant pool by 54% and distributing over $160,000 in prizes, reaching close to 75,000 kids in 222 garden programs around the country. • A continuation of our partnership with the National Head Start Association and Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation to reach early childhood centers serving some of our most vulnerable, at-risk populations nationwide. • The introduction of Chrysalis, our collaborative online initiative in partnership with national youth garden leaders and sponsors to develop a centralized, interactive, online platform to meet the growing demand for resources, networking, and funding for youth gardens”. (https://kidsgardening.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/annual-report-2019-final.pdf)
Gardening is a useful tool for addressing concerns of nutrition, and health, encourages and promotes diversity in a way that children can identify with. Caring for a garden naturally encourages stewardship for the environment as well as for each other. Moreover, when children engage in gardening helps to reduce diet-related illnesses, particularly in children (ie. heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes). In addition, gardening creates a green space for growing children, directly confronting the decreased play space that has been linked to anxiety and poor mental health.
Gardening has much to offer young children. In the hands on participation, children are more likely to absorb the concepts of comprehension as they work the beds using math skills to distance seeds appropriately, and call on working memory to recall lessons pertaining to the project at hand. They can also become more aware of responsibility and collaboration as they work to care for their creations. Through gardening children become more aware of the animals that surround a garden as well as their respective benefits to the different areas of the garden.
In the garden there is no judgment, no critics, and no bias. It’s all about our ability to grow with nature, to socialize, to take on leadership roles in an arena that if defined by diversity. The garden provides benefits in support of family relationships, and family engagement in this very unique learning environment. I encourage you to take a look, what you find may surprise you, or at least provide a path of continuity and inclusion. I have yet to find a topic that cannot be taught through gardening, especially, if the children we teach create a space that is of comfort for them.