The garden can be so much more than just a green space — it can be a learning space too! We love getting outside and away from technology or the TV for a while it’s great for the little ones health and also educationally. They get to learn a thing or two about the natural world and have so much fun.
Gardens are a fantastic environment for developing early-years skills. Messy play is a great way to improve sensory and cognitive development, whilst having fun. There are so many ways to do this for example digging holes , playing in the sandpit and playing with a mud kitchen. Water play with a water table is also another great sensory play or even fun with a hosepipe.
It’s the best letting your child explore all these new textures from the garden. They become used to handling solid objects, such as toys, and these are easy for children to learn because they don’t change shape. For example, letting your child come into contact with mud, a softer material, lets children broaden their knowledge and allows them to compare and understand new textures.
Learning about garden plants and planting
My little ones love learning about all the different plants , they like to know how they grow , what their function is and they love to watch them grow. Every summer we go to the garden centre and let them choose a load of garden plants to plants themselves and watch them grow. It’s one of their favourite things to do and they learn so much doing so whilst having fun.
Grow your own
I strongly believe that little ones who grow their own produce are far more likely to eat it, even if it’s fresh fruit and ‘dreaded’ vegetables! This can be a great way to improve their diet and get them outdoors. Easy fruit and vegetables to grow include: strawberries, cabbage, radishes and potatoes.
Children love to feel responsible and important, so helping out in the garden is a great way to do this. Give them some tasks to do daily, or even weekly, and it’s likely that they’ll start to look forward to spending time in the garden. One simple task to get children outdoors could be to grow a sunflower.
Each day your child can head outdoors to see how their plant is growing and practice some math skills through measuring. This can be exciting for a child, as often the sunflower will grow taller than them.