We’re on to Part 2 of Why Garden With Your Kids? If you missed it, you can find part 1, Why Garden With Kids? Part 1.
Let’s just cut to the chase, gardening teaches kids important life skills, like:
Fending for themselves
Try and fail cycle
Caring for the environment
That food is nourishing and is the first/most important medicine for our bodies
That hard work gets you places/results
I discussed in The Benefits Of Nature Therapy for ADHD Kids how being outdoors and getting green time can help with symptoms of ADD in kids. But ANY kid can benefit from time outdoors and getting in some Vitamin N. (Nature)
Another great reason to garden with kids and let your kids join you in projects around the yard is something called proprioceptive input.
If you closed your eyes and tried to touch your finger to your nose, would you be able to do it? Probably. How about reaching for something that you can’t see but you know how long your arms are and how much you need to extend yourself to get that object? The ability to know where your body is in space, without looking is the responsibility of the proprioceptive system. Proprioceptive input is external signals your mind gets to help build your ability to recognize where your body is in space.
Proprioceptive activities involve things like heavy work. Pushing, pulling, weight bearing and lifting heavy objects (not dangerously heavy).
Big Body Motor Activities like
using a shovel or a trowel
pulling weeds (especially big ones).
Using a wheelbarrow,
Carry buckets of water
Preparing beds with sheet mulching
Pulling and winding the hose
Soap Box: On
I do have a personal reason why gardening and food production is an essential life skill for kids. It’s my biggest why and the idea that keeps me blogging. Growing our own food is a huge step to claiming our own freedoms. While a system of government fights around us over things that are only meant to distract us, we should worry less about fighting with each other on politics and more about which color tomato looks the tastiest.
I fear for future generations being drowned in the consumption trends, the entitlement ideologies, and then falling victim to the profiteering of Big Ag and Big Pharm. I fear that our food supply will bring us tasteless and nutritionless produce; and that we need to take responsibility for providing for ourselves. Even if means just growing only one of our favorite vegetables in a pot, it’s a start. Growing our own food and teaching future generations to do it, will be our soft rebellion against the muddling of corporations and government (lobbyists).
Soap Box: Off
Oh! One final comment, on the issue of weeding. Kids make great weeders. If anything, let your angry kid go outside and pull weeds. See if the microbes and the physical labor of ripping those a-hole nettles out of the soil will make him/her happier. Stinging nettles make a person VERY aware of their body when the little hairy needles stick between a person’s fingers. Talk about proprioception!