While providing Horticultural Therapy for children, it is important that how much they are interested in that. If they are not interested in doing gardening work, the therapist/educator/parent or facilitator should choose some options or activities for improving their interest in gardening and plants. Making a vegetable garden would interest them enormously as it satisfies them to watch a plant quickly grow into food that they can harvest within 3-4 months. In Horticultural Therapy fast yielding crops are used for giving instant gratification for participants. Recently I read an article about vegetable gardening for children. I would like to share some of the important portions from the article. Hope you all enjoy the excerpts.
“Gardening, in addition to being pleasurable, is a surprisingly healthy activity for adults and children alike. The Center for Disease control considers gardening “moderate cardiac activity” and forty-five minutes of gardening can burn as many calories as thirty minutes of aerobics. The National Institute of Health recommends gardening forty-five minutes a day three to five times a week to combat obesity.
Gardening benefits you more than as just exercise. Studies have shown that gardeners have higher energy levels, optimism, zest for life, and physical self-concept than non-gardeners. They also rate their physical health and activity level as higher than non-gardeners.
Children benefit from gardening, too. Gardening improves children’s attitudes towards vegetables and helps them to understand where their food comes from. It also allows them to socialize with their peers in a positive manner when done as an activity at school or a club. It can be used to give them lessons in science and math that are fun and show how these disciplines relate to the real world. In addition, children who participate in extracurricular activities such as a garden club do better in school. Children benefit from the same exercise that gardening gives adults. This helps fight childhood obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions in the United States.
Gardening benefits those who are disabled or considered elderly and frail, as well. Studies have shown that gardening helps stroke victims rehabilitate by having them use their arms and legs while engaged in a pleasant activity. Indoor gardening activities increase activity level and social engagement in a nursing home setting.
Finally, gardening benefits communities. Community gardening improves the attitudes of individuals about their communities and improves community cohesiveness.”
Do you have children at home? Are you a teacher who would love to give special experiences to your children? Then go ahead and plan for starting a vegetable garden for them. You can call us to find how best to do it if you are having beginner’s block. But let me tell you, it is easy, fun and a great boost for enhancing children’s self-worth. Wish you all many hours of vegetable gardening!