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Gardening with Children

by Vicki L. Stoecklin
March/April 2009
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/gardening-with-children/5018680/

There has been increased interest in recent years on gardening with children and a variety of programs have been started to support different types of programmatic goals. Whether you are working with preschool children in a community garden setting or in a child care setting, children from a summer camp starting their own gardens, or elementary-aged children creating gardens on-site, the goals of a gardening program are similar among program types and the ages of children served. Goals of gardening programs include environmental stewardship, personal growth/social skills, an integrated learning environment, nutrition/health, science education, practical living skills, and just plain fun (Ocone, 1990).

How the goals for your gardening program get implemented will depend on the ages of the children in your program. Developmentally appropriate gardening programs look at how to base their activities on sound principles of child development and learning. These principles are based on years of extensive research with young children and are used by professionals in the field of early education. Many current gardening books on the market provide a variety of different types of activities. However, they give very little support to teachers or horti-culturists on how to understand the developmental needs of children and ...

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