Gardening has four major benefits when it comes to motor skill development.
1. Gross motor skills
2. Fine motor skills
4. Sensory integration
Here is how.
As part of gardening, children are outside challenging the use of their whole body to balance along uneven terrain, dig, water using a hose or watering can, and care for the plants by moving pots out of direct sun or heavy rain.
Add in some scissors for pruning and you have the perfect recipe for sensory integration and motor skill development.
Being outside also has the added bonus of helping a child understand their environment and how the elements impact them (aka hot, cold).
The breeze on their skin, and the warmth of the sun of their face can provide the opportunity to talk about how their body feels with outside in the environment. This conversation boosts a child's language development and interoception skills.
Gardening can be added into many different centre environments with a vegetable/herb patch in the yard, or at home on a window sill, verandah or the backyard.
My 125 Play Activities book provides specific activities you can do in the garden and an outdoor/indoor environment.