In our garden, we focus on learning together, caring for each other and our planet, and helping children develop a sense of belonging to a community and the natural world. We learn about growing our own food, composting, and recycling.
Here are just a few benefits of gardening with children:
- Sensory Development. Gardening engages many aspects of sensory learning. Children get to see, touch, smell, and taste what they grow in their garden.
- Encourages Healthy Eating. Children develop an interest in their growing vegetables, which leads to their keen interest in eating them.
- Responsibility & Patience. Gardening is a great way to teach responsibility, as children learn how to care for plants. The process of harvesting does not happen overnight. Children learn to be patient when waiting for the vegetables to grow as children observe and care for their plants.
- Expanding learning: Gardening helps with a wide range of learning, including learning about the seasons, weather, life cycles, animals. It also helps develop numeracy and literacy skills. Following sequential steps, seeing print in labels, drawing and writing to document growth, measuring the plants, counting the seeds and vegetables.
- Develops Social Skills: Especially here at Caterpillar Clubhouse, gardening can be a very sociable activity. Children learn to work together and enjoy discussing different types of veggies and their process of taking care of their plants. Gardening presents wonderful opportunities for children to bond and help one another look after and nurture their garden.
- Helps self-regulation: Studies have shown that having contact with dirt, whether it’s through gardening, digging holes, or making pies out of mud, can significantly improve a child’s mood and reduce anxiety and stress, even boost immunity which we all need.
We talk about all the flower parts, exploring each part by touching and smelling!
We observe and document using different materials!
Now we explore and eat!
Created by Stephanie Mckinstry family child care professional and owner of My Caterpillar Club House in Kokomo, Indiana