National Children’s Gardening Week – encouraging our younger ‘green-fingers’

It’s National Children’s Gardening Week and with most schools on their half term holidays, it’s the perfect opportunity to get the kids out in the garden.

As a mum myself, I know how much children love to be outside, and how much easier it is to keep them entertained when they’re not cooped up indoors! I love that I can nurture my daughter’s enthusiasm for nature this time of year, and with events across the country marking National Children’s Gardening Week, we can both enjoy the delights that gardening has to offer.

With our house, like many other households these days, brimming with technological devices to entice us away from other (perhaps healthier) activities, I welcome a reason to have a break from the screens. As the weather becomes warmer and the days longer, breaking away from these will be a much easier task, and children, and adults alike, can make the most of the obvious benefits that gardening can bring.

 

Celebrate the enjoyment

Although my days can be very busy, there’s nothing I enjoy more than getting out in the garden. To be outside on a warm day potting some delightful summer plants gives me a real sense of ‘escapism’. And with my daughter providing her own ‘unique’ watering skills, she couldn’t be happier.

 

Encouraging creativity

The root meaning of creativity is ‘to grow’ so there’s no better way to encourage creativity than growing something in the garden. Creativity is important for everyone and children are the best at tapping into this. According to research, it’s non-creative behaviour that’s learned. George Land conducted a research study that found that while the creativity in 5 year olds was 98%, it went down to 30% when they reached the age of 10, and was just 12% by the age of 15. I think I’ll get my daughter to help with the gardening a little bit more from now on!!

 

Keeping active

Gardening is not effortless, and as any keen gardener will know, it can be damn hard work sometimes! If there’s a way we can keep our kids active over the holidays, I’m all for it!

 

National Children’s Gardening Week is now an annual festival of fun that’s embraced in homes, schools and community groups across the country, and supports the amazing Greenfingers charity, which is dedicated to providing magical gardens for children in hospices suffering from life limiting illnesses.

Hopefully you and your family can enjoy some green-fingered activities this week and on into the summer. Have fun!!

 

Hannah Drinkwater