With ever more children growing up in housing without a garden, it is vital that settings enable children to enjoy the many benefits of gardening activities.
Gardening offers so many fun and interesting opportunities for children, and teaches them invaluable lessons, such as: naming plants, learning what plants need to live, learning about different seasons, how the weather affects plants and more.
Benefits of gardening with children links to EYFS:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Gardening is a great way for children to gain responsibility for tending to plants. Having ownership of a plant, however small, can help children to gain confidence and self-esteem. Learning patiences is also a great skill for children to develop during gardening. The fact that plants and vegetables don’t grow overnight is an amazement to some! Growing your own vegetables is a great way to discuss healthy eating and try eating for the first time.
- Physical Development: Gardening requires so many motor skills movements, from trowels and forks, digging to racking, patting to planting and pouring using a watering can.
- Communication and Language: In every part of the EYFS framework we know how language is interwoven and this is no different with gardening and growing. This is a great way to learn new vocabulary such as plant names or parts of a flower.
- Mathematics: gardening encompasses so many mathematical skills such as: counting (how many), measuring and capacity.
- Understanding the world: Being involved in the planting and nurturing of seeds and bulbs, children can watch nature in action at first hand. They can learn about what plants need to grow and the effect of weather on plants.
What to plant when?
In my young gardener grab and go kit the seeds included were:
- Egg head cress (perfect for at any point of the year!)
- Peas (plant Feb/March)
- Runer beans (plant April-May)
- Carrot (plant Feb/March)
- Rocket (plant April-Sept)
- Cucumber (plant April/March)
- Beetroot (plant March-July)
But just remember they all have instructions on the back of the packets!
Images of a few things i have previously grown with my class: sunflowers, pumpkins and peppers.
Thank you to Hayley Winter for writing this blog
Hayley Winter is an Early Years teacher and leader who is passionate about learning through play. She shares simple and effective teaching ideas for 3-5 year olds on social media. Find out more over on her website: //www.allaboutearlyyears.com [allaboutearlyyears.com]