Gardening class at La Prima Casa

How Montessori Gardening Helps Child Development

La Prima CasaOutdoor Learning, Pets

At La Prima Casa Montessori, we incorporate gardening into our curriculum. Students enjoy participating in the planting, pruning and harvesting in our very own beautiful school garden.

Dr. Maria Montessori considered the outdoor environment an extension of the indoor classroom. She believed that being in nature and interacting with it is crucial for the child’s physical and emotional development.

“The land is where our roots are,” Dr. Montessori wrote. “The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”

Gardening is a wonderful way for children to connect with nature and nurture living things. It provides multiple learning opportunities when studying parts of seeds, flowers and plants. Young students get to see life sprout from almost nothing to the beautiful plant that grows with each passing day. Gardening also helps children learn social responsibility and practical life skills.

Here are some of the great benefits that gardening offers Montessori students:

Sensational Gardening

Gardening offers children a complete range of sensory experiences. From the colors of the fruit to the feel of the produce to the smells of flowers or the sounds of rustling shrubs, gardening offers something for every sense. And of course, there’s the taste, which comes with the most rewarding experience of tasting the self-grown star fruit, basil, tomatoes and other juicy fruit, vegetables and herbs that enliven the senses.

“The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge,” – Dr. Montessori wrote.

Gardening As a Science

Gardening also gives students an early experience with science. Children get involved in counting, measuring and evaluating the amount of light the plant will receive. They also get experience with meteorology as they monitor weather patterns, and earn some introductory skills in botany as they learn about the different plants and seeds. Plus, the cause and effect that kids get to witness when their plants grow helps give students an early taste of the scientific method.

Love For Nature

Dr. Montessori believed that children are developing their senses, coordination and more through interaction, love and connection with nature.

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning,” Dr. Montessori wrote.

As children are spending more and more time indoors, gardening is a beautiful way to reconnect with nature and catch up on all the developmental opportunities they would have missed otherwise.

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Encouraging Healthy Eating

It’s true that if you grow it yourself, it tastes better. Another benefit of exposing young children to gardening is the encouragement it provides for healthy eating. By growing healthy fruit and vegetables, kids will be compelled to enjoy these healthy treats, making healthy nutrition a daily habit.

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Learning to Accept Loss and Failure

Through gardening, young students can also begin to process the effects of loss and failure. Not all plants make it and teaching children how to accept loss and move on is a valuable lesson for them.

If you’d like to help your child form a stronger connection with the garden, supply them with kid-sized hand shovels, rakes, hoes and other gardening tools. Using tools made to fit their hands will boost their confidence and make the experience more enjoyable for them.

A garden is an all-natural playground that offers many ways for Montessori students to learn and grow.

Take a peek at our beautiful school garden and some of the existing activities that our school gardener Mr. Sean organizes for the students!

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To learn more about our school garden and other benefits of Montessori education, please call us at 305-854-8001 and schedule a tour. It will give you a chance to witness the Montessori philosophy in action and see why it is that La Prima Casa alumni consistently move on to Miami’s top schools and gifted programs!

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