8 Benefits of Gardening With Your Kids – Cultivating Green Thumbs & Love of Allah (S)
Jul 1, 2023
Image source: Unsplash; photo by Andrea Sanhez
In an increasingly digital world, where children are often glued to screens, finding activities that promote their physical, mental and emotional well-being is crucial. Gardening offers a beautiful solution, providing a hands-on, immersive experience that brings children closer to nature and helps them appreciate Allah’s (S) greatness. Not only does gardening ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity, but it also offers many benefits that can positively shape a child's development.
I love gardening with the kids. I especially love gardening with my kids :) They love helping out, and it's a great way to get the family outdoors. It also teaches them about nature and how plants grow.
We recently planted some peppers in our garden, hoping for a good harvest that will last us all summer! We also grow tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and herbs like basil and lemongrass.
As a parent who homeschools, I love how gardening provides hands-on and experiential learning opportunities. It allows my kids to engage with the natural world and witness scientific concepts in action, such as plant life cycles, photosynthesis and the importance of soil and water for plant growth. And, you don’t have to be some sort of expert gardener to do this with your kids. If you know nothing about gardening, it’s a great way to learn together with your kids.
Nature, limited screens, fresh produce (Insha’Allah), beautiful plants and flowers, family together time, lessons in science and faith – what’s not to love? Let's explore eight incredible advantages of gardening with kids (no matter what season you start in) and why it's worthwhile for families.
1. Appreciate Allah’s (S) Greatness
Layla's girls setting up their kitchen garden; image source: Layla Abdullah-Poulos
Gardening provides a unique opportunity for children to witness and appreciate Allah's (S) greatness through the wonders of nature. Children can witness firsthand the intricate design and perfect balance in Allah's (S) creation as they sow seeds, water plants and observe the growth and transformation of living things. The vibrant colors of flowers, the delicate formation of leaves and the cycles of growth and renewal all serve as reminders of Allah's boundless creativity and wisdom.
While my daughters and I work in the garden, I mention the ayat in Surah Hijr in the Quran, where Allah (S) says how He gave us fruit, vegetation and fecundating [fertilizing] winds:
And We send the fertilizing winds and send down water from the sky, providing it for you to drink, and you are not maintainers of its resources. [Hijr 15:22]
Hijr 15:22
Gardening allows children to witness the miracles of life and reflect on the intricate details that make every plant unique. It cultivates a sense of awe and gratitude as they witness the bountiful provisions provided by Allah through the fruits, vegetables and herbs they grow. The experience of nurturing and witnessing the growth of plants can instill in children a deep appreciation for the Creator's power, beauty and generosity, fostering a connection with Allah (S) and nurturing their spirituality.
2. Quranic Connection
The Quran, the holy book of Islam, contains numerous verses that draw attention to the significance of vegetation and nature. It emphasizes the natural world's beauty, balance and intricate design as a reflection of the Creator's wisdom.
I often mention the ayat in Sura Abasa to the girls while we garden. Allah (S) says:
… We pour forth water in abundance, And We split the earth in clefts, And We cause the grain to grow, And grapes and clover plants And olives and date palms, And gardens, dense with many trees, And fruits and Abba (herbage, etc.), (To be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle.
Abasa 25-32

The Quran encourages believers to contemplate the wonders of the earth and the diverse forms of vegetation as signs of Allah's power and mercy. It highlights the importance of plants and trees as sources of sustenance, providing nourishment, shade, and healing properties for humanity.
Allah (S) says:
He [not best] who created the heavens and the earth and sent down for you rain from the sky, causing to grow thereby gardens of joyful beauty which you could not [otherwise] have grown the trees thereof? Is there a deity with Allah? [No], but they are a people who ascribe equals [to Him].
Surah An-Naml 27:60
The Quran's teachings also emphasize the responsibility of humans to be stewards of the environment, urging conservation, sustainable practices and the preservation of natural resources. Thus, the Quran's teachings on vegetation remind us of the interconnectedness between humans, nature and the divine, urging respect, gratitude and care for the bountiful gifts bestowed upon us.
Layla's youngest daughters set up their kitchen garden; image source: Layla Abdullah-Poulos
These are all lessons you can bestow upon your kids throughout your conversations as you work together to garden, whether it’s a garden of potted plants, raised beds or a kitchen garden.
3. Encourages Healthy Eating
Introducing children to the joys of gardening can significantly impact their relationship with food. Growing fruits, vegetables and herbs, which you then use to prepare meals, allows kids to witness the entire process, from seed to plate. This involvement fosters a greater appreciation for fresh, organic produce and encourages healthier eating habits. Kids are more likely to try new foods when they nurture them and witness their growth, leading to a broader range of nutrient-rich foods.
4. Enhances Environmental Awareness
Gardening is a powerful tool to instill a sense of environmental stewardship in children. Through hands-on experiences, kids learn about the importance of conserving resources, such as water and soil, and the impact of their actions on the environment. They develop a profound understanding of the interconnectedness between plants, insects and animals, fostering a love and respect for nature that can shape their attitudes and behaviors as responsible global citizens.
5. Promotes Physical Activity and Motor Skills
Engaging in gardening activities is an excellent way to get children moving and active. Digging, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting all require physical effort, promoting motor skills development, hand-eye coordination and muscle strength. Gardening also encourages outdoor play, providing a break from sedentary lifestyles and enticing kids to enjoy the fresh air under the sun's warmth.
6. Sparks Curiosity and Learning
Gardening is a treasure trove of learning opportunities for children. From understanding plant life cycles to exploring the intricate world of insects and pollinators, every step in the gardening process presents a chance for discovery and exploration.
Kids can learn about the importance of sunlight, water and nutrients for plant growth. They can observe the fascinating interplay of ecosystems and even conduct simple science experiments. Gardening nurtures their natural curiosity and creates a platform for hands-on learning that complements classroom education.
7. Cultivates Patience, Responsibility and Resilience
Gardening is a lesson in delayed gratification, teaching children the value of patience and perseverance. Seeds take time to sprout, plants require consistent care, and the rewards come gradually. Children develop a sense of responsibility and ownership by nurturing their plants and observing their gradual growth.
They learn the importance of regular watering, weeding and protecting plants from pests and witness firsthand the impact of their actions on plant health. Gardening fosters resilience as children learn to adapt and problem-solve when faced with challenges such as plant diseases or unpredictable weather.
8. Enhances Emotional Well Being
Image source: Layla Abdullah Poulos
Engaging with nature has a profound impact on a child's emotional well-being. Gardening provides a therapeutic outlet, reducing stress and anxiety and promoting a sense of calm. Planting and nurturing living things fosters empathy, compassion and a connection to the natural world. It instills a sense of accomplishment and pride when children witness the fruits of their labor, boosting self-esteem and confidence.
Gardening with kids is an invaluable experience that combines learning, physical activity and emotional growth. Sowing and harvesting promote healthy eating habits, environmental awareness, and a deep connection with nature and the relationship with the Creator.
So, get out there and dig in with them.
Spring planting season is over? No worries! It’s not to late
Many people think that gardening is a springtime activity. However, you can plant and harvest fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers in the summer. Here is a list of summer crops that you can sow during the summer season:
1. Tomatoes: Numerous varieties of tomatoes thrive in the summer heat. Choose from cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes or heirloom varieties, depending on your preference.
2. Cucumbers: Cucumbers are warm-season vegetables that thrive during summer. They are perfect for salads, pickling or enjoying fresh off the vine.
3. Peppers: Whether it's bell peppers, chili peppers or sweet peppers, they all love the warm summer weather. Peppers come in various colors and flavors, adding a zing to your dishes.
4. Beans: Both bush beans and pole beans are excellent options for summer planting. They grow quickly and produce abundant harvests. Choose from green beans, wax beans or even snap peas.
5. Zucchini and summer squash: These fast-growing vegetables are prolific producers during the summer months. They add a delightful touch to salads and stir-fries or can even be grilled as a side dish.
Image source: Pexels; photo by Cottonbro Studio
6. Eggplant: Eggplants thrive in the heat and are versatile vegetables to grow during summer. Choose from traditional large varieties or try unique shapes and colors like Japanese or baby eggplants.
7. Okra: This heat-loving plant is a popular choice for summer gardens. Okra pods are delicious in stews, soups or lightly breaded and fried.
8. Basil: While not a traditional crop, herbs like basil flourish in the warmth of summer. The aromatic leaves are perfect for fresh pesto, salads or enhancing the flavor of various dishes.
9. Melons: Watermelons, cantaloupes and honeydews are classic summer fruits that can be grown in your garden. These sweet and juicy treats are perfect for beating the summer heat.
10. Corn: Corn is a staple summer crop that thrives in warm temperatures. Enjoy fresh, sweet corn on the cob, or use it in salads, soups or grilled corn salsa.
Check your specific growing zone and local climate conditions to determine the best planting time for these summer crops. Happy gardening!
Do you garden with your kids? How does it bring you all closer together? Share with us in the comments below!

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