With the sun shining and the weather warming up, many of us may already be getting our fingers green in the garden. This week, we’re highlighting the benefits of gardening for your child’s emotional wellbeing in recognition of National Growing for Wellbeing Week. There’s no better time to get your children involved in the garden!

Gardening and Children’s Emotional Wellbeing

Gardening is an activity many children enjoy, but they often want to see results immediately. How often have you tried to involve your child in gardening only for them to become disheartened when their seedling hasn’t turned into a sunflower overnight? Just as children expect quick results in gardening, their mental health and wellbeing can be perceived similarly. Children may experience setbacks or slow progress towards their goals, whether at school, in a hobby, or in sports, but they are continually growing, often in unseen ways. Progress can be slow and gradual, but with small steps and the right care, children can achieve amazing things.

Learn more about supporting your child’s emotional growth by reading our blog from Children’s Mental Health Week: Growing Together.

The Positive Impact of Gardening on Children’s Emotional Health

Gardening offers a wealth of benefits for children’s emotional health and development, including:

Fostering Responsibility and Confidence Children love opportunities to demonstrate responsibility. By growing their own plants and seeing the fruits of their labour, they not only learn to care for another living thing but also gain a sense of achievement.

Understanding Teamwork Gardening projects can be a fun way for children to work together, practising turn-taking, listening, and communicating.

Environmental Awareness Gardening teaches children about the environment and how they can help protect it. Activities like collecting rainwater, recycling materials, and encouraging wildlife can be empowering.

Developing Mindfulness Gardening engages all senses, encouraging children to enjoy the present moment. This sensory experience boosts feelings of well-being and relaxation.

Promoting Physical Activity Gardening is a great form of exercise, equivalent to activities like walking or biking. Physical activity increases dopamine in the brain, enhancing feelings of happiness and well-being.

The Brain Benefits of Gardening

Gardening also brings physiological benefits akin to physical exercise. Being outdoors and getting some sunshine can trigger the release of serotonin, a hormone that stabilises mood and promotes positivity and productivity. At The Youth Fairy, we emphasise the positive effects of serotonin through the 3Ps (positive action, positive interaction, and positive thinking). Gardening can support this process and benefit your child’s overall well-being.

Getting Your Child Involved in National Growing for Wellbeing Week

Ready to make the most of the outdoors and boost your child’s well-being? Here are some creative gardening ideas:

  • Build a mini pond to attract wildlife.
  • Create a mini garden if you lack outdoor space.
  • Design a snail track.
  • Set up a treasure hunt.
  • Make a homemade suncatcher.
  • Build a pine cone bird feeder.
  • Press flowers.
  • Construct a hedgehog hut.
  • Paint a garden fence mural.
  • Build a fairy garden.
  • Design eco-friendly planters.
  • Collect rainwater and compost.

To support the Greenfingers charity and their mission to create magical outdoor spaces for children in hospices, visit: Greenfingers Charity.

Embrace National Growing for Wellbeing Week and nurture your child’s emotional health through the joys of gardening!