Could Getting Out in the Garden Help Your Kid’s Development?

Several times a week, Annikki Egolf, a Child & Youth Care worker with the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association (CDC) in Canada, goes outside with different groups of children, planting vegetables and flowers in their own box in the community garden. Last week alone, children planted cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, marigolds, potatoes, onions and beans, but why?


Gardening is often used as a complementary wellness therapy, as it benefits child wellbeing in a number of ways. Firstly, gardening could help your children to learn the basics of where their food comes from and how to grow it, as well as how plants are associated with their clothing, food, shelter, and wellbeing. In today’s epidemic of indoor living, gardening projects provide your children with a rarity; carefree exploration of the natural world.


Aside from this, gardening helps your children to develop their academic and social skills, giving them increased nutrition awareness, environmental awareness, higher learning achievements, and increased life skills. In fact, research suggests that young people who take part in garden-based learning programs are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and they become more enthusiastic about the fresh, nutritious vegetables they’ve grown themselves. There is scientific evidence to prove that children’s garden programmes increase your child’s life skills, as well as helping to enhance moral education, appreciation for nature and patience.


Therefore, a group of 10-15 kids at the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre will be checking on their garden almost every day throughout the summer and all of their hard work will pay off in the autumn when they will use their vegetables for a harvest dinner. The Memory Garden has been created due to a partnership between the Food Policy Council and leadership students from the high school, with the hopes of creating beautiful memories for people living in the area.


While the garden project is part of the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association’s work to provide assessment, education, and assistance to children who require extra support in areas of physical, socio-emotional, communicative and cognitive development, any child can benefit from getting out into the garden, so why not see if you can develop your kids’ green fingers?

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