Getting out in the garden is a great bucket emptier, not just for you but for your children too. There are lots more benefits too. Here are eight great reasons to create a herb garden with your children.
1. Highly Sensitive Children Love Being in Nature
Highly sensitive children (HSCs) usually have an affinity with nature and so gardening is a natural activity that captures their attention and imagination. It’s a natural bucket emptying activity. It’ll keep them away from those electronic screens!
2. Kids Learn Where Their Food Comes From
When you start a little herb garden from scratch children learn how their food grows – from seed to harvesting. They have seen the process from start to finish. There’s no reason why you can’t expand from herbs to a few simple vegetables too. Lettuce is a great example of an easy project with kids.
3. HSC Are More Likely to Try New Foods
HSCs can be fussy eaters, particularly relating to textures and strong tastes. If they have planted the seeds for a herb garden themselves they will be more likely to try the foods prepared with those herbs once they have been harvested.
Let them choose the herbs you grow so that you don’t plant herbs that are overpowering for your HSC.
4. Kids Learn Responsibility
If you involve your child in every stage of the herb growing process your child will not only learn how to grow food in the garden, but will also learn how to be responsible for that growing process.
What does a seed need to become a herb plant that we can use in the home? A child quickly understands that a seed, and consequently a plant, needs care. If you give your child total responsibility for the herb garden, or a part thereof, it will cultivate a sense of responsibility and later a whole lot of pride and a sense of achievement.
5. Kids Learn Patience
Rome wasn’t built in a day and similarly a seed doesn’t become a herby feast overnight. Children learn that patience is a huge part of gardening, There are things in life you have no control over and you can’t make herbs grow faster simply through the act of wanting it. Patience is learned and the garden is a great teacher.
6. Gardening is a Sensory Experience
Getting stuck into the mud (some HSCs may not like this part of it) is a sensory exploration in itself but time in the garden holds much more sensory adventure for children.
Think of the smells of the plants and flowers, the insects and butterflies flying around them, the sounds of the birds chirping and seeing the host of colours around them. They feel the wind and the sun on their faces.
Herbs themselves are amazing sensory tools – think of the beautiful scent of lavender, or the heavenly smell of rosemary or basil.
7. Herb Gardens Help the Bees and Butterflies
If you choose the right herbs you have the added bonus of attracting bees and butterflies to your garden. If you have budding conservationists in house like I do, this makes a herb garden even more attractive.
Try mint, chives or thyme – all three are super simple herbs to grow and all attract different types of bees.
8. Children Learn Creative Cooking Skills
Once those herbs are grown you can create amazing recipes with your children. It could be as simple as adding herbs to a salad, infusing oil or vinegar with mixed herbs, or getting the right combination for a tasty pasta sauce or a curry.