In recent years research has demonstrated the many ways children can benefit enormously from outdoor activities. Letting children experience nature can help promote a well-rounded development and a healthier lifestyle.
Gardening remains one of the best outdoor activities for kids of all ages. Whether the garden is in pots or a big patch right outside their front door, kids who engage themselves in the activity harvest more than crops and food.
Perks of Gardening
Nannies who want to encourage their charges to live a healthier lifestyle can use gardening as an opportunity to affect the children’s lives positively. Here are some reasons why caregivers should get their charges out in the garden:
Eating healthier. A study by Garden Organics found people who engage themselves in gardening activities or programs prefer fruits and vegetables as snacks. It also showed gardening helps prevent obesity and other health problems.
Exercise. Gardening involves tasks such as digging, raking, and other physical activities that use muscles in the upper and lower body. Depending on the intensity of the activity, different gardening activities can burn over 250-500 calories per hour. These tasks could also teach young children to stay active and take responsibility for their own health.
Analytical Skills. Gardening requires reasoning, planning, and organisation skills. Nannies who want to teach their charges math and science skills can encourage their charges to observe plant cycles, weather cycles, and insect life.
Easy Plants for Nannies and Young Children
When choosing a plant to grow, nannies should consider seeds that grow relatively quickly. It is also vital to pick big seeds that charges with little hands can easily grasp. Plants that require very little fuss about where they are planted are perfect for nannies who are still teaching their charges the basics in gardening.
Radishes are fast-growing plants that don’t pay much attention to where you plant them. The plants will have their first sprouts within a few days. Typically, radishes are ready to harvest within a month, but people who prefer to eat them small can collect them earlier.
Radishes can be grown between spring and fall.
Alfalfa sprouts can be grown in a glass jar inside the kitchen. Selecting a clear jar lets children see the seed’s growth. Growing the sprouts requires repeatedly rinsing the seeds with cold water.
When growing alfalfa sprouts, it is crucial to place them in a cool spot that’s out of direct sunlight. The sprouts can be stored in the fridge for a few days before they become mouldy.
Nannies who are looking into growing a bunch of plants should consider zucchinis. These plants can be grown in a group. Zucchini can be an ingredient in dozens of dishes. Charges who want a healthy snack option may want to eat baked zucchini chips, and those looking for a more filling option can make bread with zucchini or pineapple.
Pumpkins have big seeds that are easy for younger charges to plant. Nannies can start planting them in little pots in early spring. However, pumpkins should soon be moved outside where there is a lot of space available for the vines to grow. While pumpkins do take longer to be ready for harvest, young kids will love watering the garden and reaping the rewards by the end of autumn.
While there are a dozen varieties of tomatoes, cherry, grape, and pear tomatoes make the perfect potted plants. These bite-sized plants can be placed on the deck or patio for easier access when nannies need to add sweetness to salads or snacks. Young charges can also pluck and eat them right off the vines.
Basil is an easy-to-grow herb that serves as a great addition in soups, salads, and sauces. Additionally, this herb can also be dried or frozen. Basil plants thrive in moist soil, so it is essential always to test the dryness of the soil to see if it needs more water.
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