Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Playtime in the Garden

WebMD Feature from "Country Living" Magazine

By Madeleine Beckman

Country Living Magazine

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.

Kids Gardening

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

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 higher
  • Drink plenty of water



More from Country Living



Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd