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Gardening With Kids

With spring in the air and the sunshine calling us to come out and play, now is a good time to get out there and do some yard work! Whether you're planting fruits and vegetables for a fresh healthy food source, building an aesthetically pleasing oasis, or simply adding some flowers to brighten your front steps, gardening is an awesome outdoor activity that can be fun for the whole family! Check out these awesome gardening tips and some pretty good reasons why it's time to get the kids outside in the garden.


Written by Charlie Nardozzi

Charlie Nardozzi, a nationally recognized garden writer, book author, speaker and radio and television personality, has appeared on HGTV, PBS and Discovery Channel television networks. He is the senior horticulturist and spokesperson for the National Gardening Association (www.garden.org) and former Chief Gardening Officer for the Hilton Garden Inn.

Something almost magical happens when children garden.

Family photos often tell the tale of memorable life moments. One of my favorite family photos shows my 2-year-old daughter and I planting pumpkin seeds in the garden. Now she’s a teenager and not interested in gardening at the moment, but somehow I feel the “seed” has been planted for her to appreciate plants, flowers and growing food.



Kids’ Gardening Benefits


Something almost magical happens when children garden. For example, educators everywhere report that kids’ self-esteem, social skills and attitudes about the environment improve. Students who have trouble with academics find practical applications in the garden for what they learn in class. It even reduces absenteeism!



30 minutes of gardening burned more calories than a 30-minute aerobics class.

Kids who garden also enjoy physical activity in the outdoors, and become more interested in eating the nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables they grow. Plus, gardening provides exercise in a fun way. The simple acts of digging a hole, raking soil, pulling giant weeds and hauling buckets of water work various muscle groups in the body. Researchers in England found that, with proper guidance, 30 minutes of gardening burned more calories than a 30-minute aerobics class.



Make Gardening Fun


But gardening isn’t an easy sell for most kids; they have so much competing for their attention already: social media, gaming, cell phones, television, computers, sports and a zillion planned activities. The key, especially at the early ages, is making gardening fun and approachable.

These will be great memories in years to come.

If you want your child to love gardening, the best thing you can do is show them how much you love it just by reveling in your own garden every day. Your garden doesn’t have to be a showplace — it may be a decorative little corner or a profusion of pots. Also, give them good gardening experiences. These will be great memories in years to come.



what are you waiting for?

It's the simple things in life that tend to make us the happiest and healthiest. Be sure to pass that on to the next generation by teaching your kids to enjoy the little everyday things, like loving their work and their world around them. And remember, they learn by following you. So what are you waiting for?



GET OUT THERE!


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