Spring is springing, the sun is beginning to shine through the clouds and nature is making its comeback. Happy days! It’s the perfect time for the whole family to head outside into the glorious weather, shake off the winter cobwebs, and try something new this weekend.
How about gardening?
This year, Sudocrem have launched Get Out And Grow, a campaign encouraging children and their parents to spend more time outside, planting seeds, weeding, sewing, growing and generally ‘getting their green on’, together. No garden? No worries. Get Out and Grow is all about optimising whatever space is to-hand and a kitchen windowsill can be just as good as an allotment when it comes to teaching your children about nature.
Outdoor play works wonders for a child’s learning and development, however, recent figures show that the average 6-11 year old spends just 5 hours a week playing outside, compared to 45.5 hours in front of a screen. Get Out and Grow aims to make a dent in statistics like these by giving children a reason to go outside and get their hands dirty in the best kind of way!
Here’s five reasons why gardening is GREAT!:
1. Spending time together as a family
Everybody knows that raising children is a full-time job, but who knew that raising plants could be a full-family job? When the weekend comes around this time, why not spend one morning planting some seeds together? It can be quite hard work, so the more mucky hands, the better!
Over the following weeks as shoots begin to sprout and leaves grow, everyone can have their own role in caring for the plants. That way the experience is shared, just as the vegetables will be when they are ready to eat!
2. Learning & healthy eating
Get Out and Grow! is not just about growing plants, it’s also about growing children. Through learning about what plants need to grow big and strong, they can also begin to learn how to do the same for themselves through healthy eating and diet.
Lots of vegetables can be grown inside, even ones you might not expect, like carrots. Teaching children how the vegetables they see every day arrive on their plates could encourage them to try new ones as well as teaching them a newfound love for some of their old familiar friends—like carrots! Eating vegetables they’ve grown all by themselves is an amazing experience for both children and adults. Not to mention, learning how to prepare vegetables in the kitchen can open up a whole new world of experimentation and play.
Plants need a whole host of different factors to survive, just like healthy children. Education about the seasons, the weather, even creepy crawlies, will compliment what your children learn in the classroom and may even give them a little head-start.
3. Sensory & co-ordination
Teach your children to stop and smell the roses! Gardening stimulates and engages children’s senses without them even realising it. Soon they’ll be recognising different types of plants by the beautiful colours of their petals, their unique smells, even the different feel of each plant’s leaves.
Gardening also helps to develop their fine motor skills, from picking up tiny seeds to pulling up weeds. It will help to build their physical strength as your children work hard digging and watering their creations.
4. Patience & responsibility
From planting a seed, to watching it grow, to reaping the rewards of hard work; gardening teaches the need for daily love and attention when it comes to success—it’s important for everyone to learn the benefits of caring.
Raising vegetables is no overnight job and Get Out and Grow would like to encourage children to learn that hard work and patience are key skills when it comes to helping any project flourish, but especially vegetables.
5. Planning & organisation
Just like children, some plants require space and prefer their own company and others prefer socialising in a group. Unlike children, some plants also require more or less light, water and can grow better in different seasons. Helping your child to organise and plan their garden or pots can be a great way to spend time together and creating a plant diary, or chart can be a way to teach them skills useful to all walks of life.