Anyone can attest to the therapeutic benefits of digging in the dirt and of the pleasure gained from nurturing its offspring. It is especially meaningful for children to experience these same pleasures by learning about gardening and the natural world around them.
You can help make gardening a part of your children's community. By starting gardens at your kids' school or your church, they'll be exposed to happenings in the natural world every day. Even if they are not actively engaged in the garden at a given moment, the little things like noticing birds, bees, and butterflies will stay with them for years to come. School gardens also give classroom teachers an opportunity to develop lesson plans based on the garden, and it provides a great opportunity for hands-on learning.
Even if you don't have school-age children, being a gardening mentor is a great way to tap into the enthusiasm for nature that nearly all children have. Instilling an appreciation for good stewardship of the natural world at the earliest stages of education teaches lessons that last a lifetime. With a little planning, you can even slip in "secret" lessons in art, language, math, English, history, and nutrition by using gardening as the frame for lessons that affect our everyday lives.