Whether the weather is gloomy and keeping us inside today, or it’s sunny without a cloud in sight- today is National Plant a Flower Day.
There are many benefits to planting flowers and even building a garden, many of which are physical health benefits. Gardening and yard work are considered moderate-intensity exercises that we should all be partaking in daily, however, these types of exercises increase fine-motor skill strengthening and encourages more stretching for the body. Gardening may hurt your back after a couple of hours of strenuous work, but tending and caring for the plant-life in your backyard can build strength in your bones, fight disease by increasing your vitamin D intake, promoting more sleep due to decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression, and being a natural mood booster. There is a reason why it’s called horticultural therapy. This is an activity that has proven over decades to protect memory with age, and occupy individuals of all ages and backgrounds from making poor choices due to bored (such as breaking laws, using drugs, recovering from addiction, etc). Having an outdoor activity is important for maintaining a healthy weight and to distract our minds from over-thinking.
Planting flowers can foster human connection between family, friends, and the community. Children and teenagers NEED to be outside, and with the incredible technological advances that we’ve made just in the past 20 years, the desire to engage outside has dropped tremendously. Gardening and farming and yard work in general all provide opportunities for children to harvest a good work ethic, as well as qualities such as responsibility, patience, routine, consistency, dedication, and nurturing. Many kids grow something that they are proud of, sometimes flowers and sometimes foods, and they become inspired. Inspired to try new things, inspired to eat better, motivated to learn more. This can lead to a healthier diet and lifestyle habits in the future. Planting flowers can serve as one of the best projects to reinforce family bonding, too.
Family Garden Chores for Kids
Kids can do a lot of the work for your family garden, either independently or alongside an adult. You want to start with setting a reasonable goal- clearing one small, designated area or working for 15 minutes, then moving onto something else.
Depending on their ages, kids can:
Collect sticks and other debris