Playtime in the Garden
By Madeleine Beckman
If you want to ensure your kids are getting sufficient
exercise, invite them into the garden with you!
If you want to ensure your kids are getting sufficient exercise, invite them
into the garden with you! According to recent studies, gardening provides
excellent exercise, builds self-esteem, and teaches lifelong skills. Gardening
also teaches kids that life, unlike video games, does not always produce
instantaneous results. Instead, with patience you can reap huge rewards.
According to a report from Colorado State University, gardening together even
helps strengthen family bonds.
Dr. Richard B. Parr, professor in the Department of Health and
Rehabilitation at Central Michigan University, believes that gardening is a
wonderful option for the whole family to get physical exercise. He says that
time in the garden can be broken into several short time blocks throughout the
day. It's not necessary to have marathon sessions of digging, planting, and
weeding. And Mom and Dad, listen up: a study from Erasmus University Medical
Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands, has shown that people who engage in gardening
for only a half-hour a day, five days a week, live about a year-and-a-half
longer than those who are less active.
Project EverGreen, a nonprofit organization, strives to raise public
awareness about the benefits of green spaces. To learn more about the
environmental, physical, and psychological advantages of gardening and
landscapes for children and adults, visit projectevergreen.com.
Tips for Gardening with Kids
- Keep dangerous chemicals out of reach
- Wear gloves when digging in rocky ground
- Grow interesting plants, like sunflowers, fuchsia, hibiscus, honeysuckle,
violets, herbs, and green beans, on a trellis
- Plant flowers that attract butterflies
- Make sure kids wear protective clothing and use sunscreen with SPF 15 or
- Drink plenty of water
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