Kidsgardening.org aids in my professional endeavor to use gardening as part of the developmental process for children and families. Gardening provides hands on learning for children, with the added value of being able to teach children and families to grow many fruits and vegetables where ever they live.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, National Head Start Association and KidsGardening have joined together to combat some of the most pressing challenges facing today’s youngest generation, improving access to healthy food and increasing time spent outdoors connected to nature. The three-year partnership will work to bring the powerful, life-enhancing benefits of gardens to one million at-risk Head Start children and families across the country each year through the development of edible gardens and hands-on garden education. Gardens are an amazing resource in early childhood education classrooms. They offer hands-on learning experiences and provide the chance for inquiry-based exploration while also inspiring children’s natural curiosity and wonder. Garden activities can readily be integrated into the curriculum and designed to support the cognitive, physical, social and development of young children. Additionally, they provide ample opportunities to engage families and community members. Some noted benefits of garden-based education programs include:
- Build an understanding of and respect for nature and the environment
- Motivate kids to eat and love fruits and vegetables
- Provide opportunities for hands-on learning, inquiry, observation and experimentation
- Promote physical activity and quality outdoor experiences
- Teach kids to nurture and care for other living things while developing patience
- Offer opportunities for positive social interactions and team building experiences with students, families and community members
Though this organization works in the United States, organizations such as UNICEF also extend the message of gardening around the world not only to help in sustainability, but in the respite and stress relieving effects of gardening.
UNICEF Syrian Arab Republic/2016/Ourfali
The children initially started their experiment to block the view of a garbage heap. Now, they eagerly tend their garden, a respite from the day’s challenges.