Recent research, carried out by innocent, found that 84% of parents believe children would be more open to eating fruit and veg if they knew where their food came from, yet, nearly one in five parents have never attempted to grow their own.
Gardening can be seen as a hobby but it's also great for educating kids on many topics that are currently part of the school curriculum. I've pulled together some tips to get your little ones engaged with the garden.
Maths and budgeting skills
Children measure the size of a garden, calculate the volume of soil they need, and weigh and measure what they harvest
Science and environmental info
Learning the process, how to keep things alive and what elements plants need to grow. Keep a planner that your child can stick to which will empower them to take control
English and literacy skills
Young gardeners read seed packets and recipes (and gardening mags) and keep records of how their garden grows
Cooking and healthy eating
Sampling crops out of the veg patch is a great way for kids to graze and it will also help to develop their palate. Over half of those parents surveyed also thought the best way for children to learn about healthy eating was to grow their own fruit and veg in the classroom and at home, with over a third supporting the idea of a lesson in the garden. Children love to learn and their senses will be excited with everything they can see, smell, touch and taste!
Encourage them to grow fruit and vegetables that are fast growing so that they see a quick return - radishes are a good example of this. This will shorten the process for them and will get them excited to try the food they see growing in front of them. They'll form an attachment and will help the link between what they're growing and the veggies that appear on their dinner plate
Working co-operatively and sharing experiences encourages team work and sharing. Lesson plans encourage kids to each take responsibility for different tasks at different times
Practical and creative skills
The top activities for kids are sowing seeds, digging and watering. Basically, the messier the job, the more they will love it.
Give kids some autonomy in the veg patch- give them a dedicated raised bed, pot or part of a bed for them to experiment with.
innocent has teamed up with, Grow It Yourself (GIY) to launch their Sow & Grow campaign, encouraging kids to get outside, stick their hands in the mud and get growing! ¼ of UK primary schools will benefit from the campaign - which encourages healthy eating and food education.
Is your school signed up? If so then upload your photos at https://innocentsowandgrow.com/ to be in with the chance to win monthly prizes from innocent and see your classroom crowned as Sow & Grow champions!