Gardening and Your Preschooler
Unless you’ve been entirely out of the loop, you’d agree with me on the point that personal gardens have made a big comeback. Even heading to the grocery store on most days I’m bombarded by seed packets, fresh herb bunches, and soil to feed my flourish seedlings. Aside from being a very fruitful—pun intended—endeavor for me, gardening brings a sense of peace and calm to an otherwise stressful day, while providing nourishing food for my family. But the perks of gardening don’t stop there, for my preschooler especially having a garden has proven to be nothing but beneficial.
Particularly for those San Diego preschoolers, living in a world of near constant sunshine and warmth, gardening is an amazing way to get your preschooler outdoors and interacting with nature (more on that here). By having my toddler help with watering, weeding, and harvesting I help them observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn about the world around them. With observation and discovery comes the realization that plants, both big and small, must be cared for properly, and with this comes a growing sense of responsibility in your child. This sense of responsibility increases a toddler’s understanding and desire to nurture a positive environment for their plants and flowers, which in turn feeds their understanding of the world around them.
Additionally, studies have shown that toddlers that help with gardening early on in life develop and encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Toddlers who help with gardening are less likely to question the green on our their dinner plates, and more likely to accept the vegetables that they themselves have not only grown, but picked for their meal.