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By Kelly Holland
What kid doesn’t love getting dirty? Most will jump at the chance to start an indoor garden with you and help to provide a source of healthy and inexpensive food for your family. It’s also a great way to get them to eat their veggies and keep them busy during the winter! Here’s why your child will love tending to an indoor garden:
Whether you’re simply growing a bean plant from seed or building a vermicomposting bin in the basement, growing an indoor garden help your kids learn about nature from the comfort and safety of your own home. They’ll gain a deeper connection to the world and ecosystems around them, and also develop their knowledge of mathematics, biology, nutrition, and the environment.
Too much screen time often results in a deficit of outdoor time. This disconnect from nature sometimes leads kids to feel depressed and anxious, and may also lead to obesity and other health problems. While it can be challenging to get your kids outside during the cold winter months, an indoor garden can provide you with the opportunity to connect with nature even during heavy snowstorms.
Gardening is also good for the brain. Studies show that children who participate in gardening projects score much higher on key academic tests than students who don’t. Gardening can even help boost your child’s immunity – multiple studies have suggested that when kids are exposed to the microbes found in soil, their ability to avoid common illnesses like asthma and allergies actually increases.
Gardening helps to boost your mood and gives your kids a healthy way to exercise. Even if they are only digging in small containers to plant seeds, or bringing in jugs of water to keep your thirsty plants hydrated, they are moving! It can even enhance your children’s fine motor skills and teach them how to work well with others.
Gardening is a great way to foster independence and responsibility in your kids. There’s something very rewarding about watching things grow, so your kids will feel more invested in the process. It encourages them to care for something that may not provide immediate gratification.
When your kids grow and prepare the vegetables, they’re much more likely to eat them. Few of them will turn up their nose at a home-grown turnip or pass over the peas. And let’s face it, fresh produce simply tastes better.
While all forms of gardening (indoor, outdoor, or somewhere in between) will provide the same benefits, the major attraction of indoor gardening is that it can be completed during any season. Even better, if you have limited gardening space (for example, if you live in an apartment or another area without a substantial lawn), an indoor garden allows you to bring in any favorites over the winter and allows you to grow fresh produce without the actual acreage.
The most important reason you should start an indoor garden with your child this year? You’ll love it. Starting an indoor garden is a great way for you to log some memorable quality time with your family this winter.
Kelly Holland is a gardening and landscape design writer who loves experimenting in her kitchen. Her quirky nature loves a bright color palette so naturally, her coveted garden is covered in a rainbow of fruits, vegetable, and flowers.