Mamatoyz: National Gardening Week: What can gardening do for children?

We’re really getting into the spring and summer spirit. The British weather might be unpredictable but we’re trying to get as much time outside with our little ones as we can this year. There are so many benefits for our children, and ourselves, to be spending time outdoors. From reconnecting with nature to valuable family time, the outdoors brings so many positive things to our daily lives and the brighter weather brings joy too. The sunshine has a wonderful ability to help flowers grow, bloom and bring a smile to our faces and this May is National Gardening Week. Here’s everything you need to know and the benefits you and your family can enjoy this week!

What is National Gardening Week?

National Gardening Week is a celebration of the healthy activity of gardening. The Royal Horticultural Society began the week to raise awareness of the benefits that productive activity brings to a huge range of people. Their focus is to enrich people’s lives through plants as well as make the UK a greener place and the most beautiful place it can be. 

Why is this week so important?

This year the theme is ‘the joy of gardening’. With the opening of the new RHS community garden, 2022 is about bringing people together where they can discover and enjoy the joy of gardening. This week is important because it shares the love of gardening and encourages the next generation of gardeners to start building their knowledge. 

What are the benefits of gardening?

Community

The beauty of gardening is the conversations that happen and the bringing together of generations and like-minded people. Gardening can have people working together and for children can help them practice their skills and dexterity. There's also a wonderful sense of achievement for the team effort. 

Wellbeing 

Whilst gardening can be a joint activity it can also be a solo one too. Caring and nurturing plants can bring joy to all as they watch their plants grow. This is something that anyone of any age can do and the quiet time, concentration and thoughts that go into caring for them bring relaxation and calmness. 

Outdoor and health 

There has been great research on the impact of being outdoors and human health. From how a daily walk in woodland areas can reduce stress levels to the movement away from so much screen time can provide a healthier lifestyle too. The benefits are numerous and gardening as an activity can help encourage more people, and little ones to want to enjoy being outdoors. 

How can you and your little one get inspired?

New garden spaces

As the theme for this year from RHS is about their new community space, we’re taking inspiration and heading out to find gardens that put us in awe. These walks with your little ones are so stimulating and the conversations about what you might want to create can get those imaginative thoughts going. Taking a camera with you and allowing your little one to photograph the things they like is also a great way to start piecing together ideas of what you might like to do together in the future. 

Changing up your own space

Whether it's a front garden, back garden, porch, driveway, pots, boxes or anywhere else, starting fresh can be a challenge, but with so much reward. The turning over of a garden is a great activity to expel energy and gets your little one invested in creating something new. If you’ve been walking around inspirational gardens this is also a great time to use these ideas to bring some new things into the garden. These moments where your little one is working alongside you are treasured bonding time that they'll be loving too!

Sharing with others

If you’re creating something new, heading out for inspiration or are looking at how far your garden has come, sharing with others is such a great way to make this a sociable and enjoyable experience for more than just your family. Having friends over to see what you’ve done in person or sharing progress on social media is great to keep motivation up and see how far you’ve come. Your little one will love to have their friends over in their space for games, tea parties and all other activities!

Creating for the future

As mentioned above, one of the big aims of the celebration week is to encourage the next generation of green fingers. When your little one learns how their plants and knowledge are growing and what they’re contributing to a healthy future for them and their friends they’ll love being involved. 

This week is all about being inspired to get outside. Whether you’ve been gardening your whole life or this is your first time getting green-fingered, it's all about learning new skills that are providing your little one with skills that will give them a healthy future. Each gardening step can be a step forward in creating a healthier environment for all and the process can be fun for everyone. We hope our article has inspired you and your family to get outside and a little bit mucky!