How does your garden grow? How children benefit from growing a garden!
Dirt is good for kids! Yes, you read that right. Exposure to dirt helps build immunity, makes them eat healthier and positively impacts their brain, among other benefits. You can start them young, and this is the perfect season for it.
Remember the Van Mahotsav that you learnt about in school? What fun it was to make sure all the saplings were in a row, like little soldiers standing to attention! Van mahotsav is a week-long festival celebrated on different days in different parts of India, but usually in the beginning of July which also coincides with the onset of rains. Van Mahotsav began in year 1950 and means " FESTIVAL OF FORESTS". It has gained significant national importance and every year, millions of saplings are planted across India in observation of Van Mahotsav week. We at shumee too promise to plant a tree for every toy bought.
We celebrate forests and plantation for the benefits to the community, but where planting a tree is not possible, there are other avenues to green our lives. Urban gardens on rooftoops and balconies are quite satisfying too and a funtastic way to impart life lessons to a young child. Gardening and planting lead to individual developmental benefits as well, especially for growing children. We list some below, but many intangible benefits do not find a place in lists.
Fussy eaters? It’s time to get them into gardening. All you need is a few pots and some dedicated space. The fussiest child will be intrigued by something they have grown and will want to eat it. Try herbs and tomatoes etc. which need very little space and not much effort.
Curious kittens? Well, gardens are a perfect way to spark and stimulate curiosity about why and what. How many tomatoes did you harvest? If you eat sow tomatoes from the five that your plant had, how many are left? Is tomato a fruit or a vegetable? One thing leads to another, and the brain is constantly stimulated.
Immunity boosters? Here is some dirt about immunity. Sanitized, ultra clean surroundings actually make the body weaker and more susceptible to illnesses. Exposing them to the earth in controlled conditions like your own little garden might be the best way to build immunity and overall health.
Indoor/ outdoor activity? Carrying, picking up, squatting, digging are all great ways to strengthen different muscles in the body. While gardening can be done on a balcony, these days all kids could benefit from a little more physical activity and sunshine they’ll get while gardening. Known as “heavy work,” these pursuits have been shown to help kids stay calm and focused.
Soul food? Watching something grow, caring for it and looking after something can be one of the most beautiful experiences in life. In a world full of screens and impersonal interactions, planting something and watching it come to life, is an awesome feeling. Set up a simple routine to water the plants together daily.
Most importantly, studies have shown that when children have contact with soil during digging and planting activity, they have improved moods, better learning experiences and decreased anxiety. The self-esteem a child gets from eating tomatoes he helped grow is tremendous. Its also a great way to spend some quality time with your child.
Time spent growing a garden helps children connect with nature and how they have an essential role in taking care of it. It’s a beautiful way to teach your child that they are never too young to make a difference in the world! Try gardening with your little one and share your experiences with us.
Happy Van Mahotsav! Happy gardening!
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