Hardly anything is more enjoyable for children than digging through the dirt with their bare hands and carefully examining all the little rocks and other treasures it contains. And it is not uncommon for smaller children, in particular, to end up with a little dirt in their mouths as well. Parents instinctively try to intervene here - after all eating dirt is harmful to health, right?
The positive effects of dirt and grime
Scientific studies have shown that contact with dirt in early childhood strengthens the immune system. The immune system reacts to microbes, bacteria and germs contained in dirt and gets trained as a result. If a child is not exposed to germs at all then the immune system tends to go into high gear even with the smallest stimulus and tries to fight off every little exposure. The result: asthma, neurodermatitis and allergies. This has been clearly established in a large-scale comparative study between children who grow up on a farm and those who live in an urban environment. However, caution is advised with exposure to animal excrement and poisonous or irritating plants. These are harmful to health.
Making gardening fun for everyone
Children are often impatient when it comes to the garden. It is important to involve them in every step along the way from start to finish.
You can start growing seedlings in a greenhouse and then transplant them later in a bed. Since little children are particularly interested in harvesting, a small snack corner is a great idea. Cocktail tomatoes, mini cucumbers, sugar peas and all kinds of berries are perfect for such a corner. It is very rewarding because they can watch their plants grow and then enjoy munching on the delicious fruits they harvest.
Children's curiosity is almost limitless. They find something to marvel at everywhere. Be it the beautiful swallowtail caterpillar, stones in funny shapes or interesting leaves, the garden is a huge treasure chest to be discovered.
Step by step to a delightful garden
Children learn by imitating and it is no different when it comes to gardening. Therefore, you should let your child do as much as possible in the garden - under your guidance and supervision, of course. This not only promotes a deeper understanding of nature but also self-confidence and patience. One to two square metres are enough to start with, where you can plant low-maintenance vegetables and herbs such as radishes and chives. Special gardening tools for children such as rakes, spades and shovels as well as cute aprons, gloves and watering cans make the first forays into gardening easier and more enjoyable. Now nothing stands in the way of a beautiful and bountiful garden.