Gardening can be a daunting task to some, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. It also doesn’t require a perfectly flat, large, sunny backyard. For example, you can plant in a small raised bed or existing landscaping. If you don’t have a lot of outdoor space, a few containers of soil in a sunny spot can be an easy way to grow herbs or sweet cherry tomatoes. We all know eating vegetables is good for you. In addition to the health benefit to your child’s body, planting a garden can also positively affect your child’s mind and soul.

How gardening can affect the brain

There is a myriad of scientific concepts you can discuss with your kids when planting and tending to a garden. The wonder of seeing a garden grow may spark questions like: Why do the plants need sun? How does the plant “drink” water? Why are worms good for the plants? You can add a little math to gardening by measuring how much plants are growing from week to week or counting the flowers on each plant.

How gardening can affect the body

When children participate in gardening, the fruits and vegetables that they are inspired to eat will have a positive effect on their body. But the physical act of gardening can also promote a healthy body. In fact, getting dirty while gardening may strengthen a child’s immunity and overall health, countering the adverse effects of compulsively keeping children’s hands sanitized. With the growth of childhood obesity and overuse of digital devices, the benefits of physical activity and sunshine are evident. Activities like moving soil, carrying a watering can, and digging in the dirt can promote motor skills and overall strength for a more fit body. Plus, these activities, known as “heavy work,” have been shown to help kids stay calm and focused.

How gardening can affect the soul

In this electronic age, children need time for meaningful family connection. Time in the garden allows for team building and promotes communication skills. Making sure that the plants get enough fertilizer, water and sun fosters mindfulness and responsibility.