The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is reminding people of the benefits of children getting their hands dirty this autumn, with gardening known to deliver health, wellbeing and environmental benefits.

The Positive Impact of Outdoor Learning

The end of summer shouldn’t mean a return to predominantly indoor activities the charity says. Recent research demonstrates the positive impact of outdoor learning and play on health and wellbeing, as exposure to the good bacteria in the natural environment is found to support the immune system.

The last 18 months has, for many, brought restrictions on access to outdoor space and connecting with others, but now, more than ever, gardens can support young people’s development. Four in five schools previously surveyed by the RHS felt that gardening had improved the mental and physical wellbeing of pupils while nine in ten said it had helped young people develop a wide range of skills.

Get Gardening This Autumn

Autumn is an ideal time to get gardening with a huge range of activities, no matter the size plot, to keep children entertained. Those recommended by the RHS this season include:

  • Conducting a simple, and messy, sensory test to work out what type of soil you have and what will grow in it best
  • Sowing hardy onions, spinach and beans this autumn ready for harvesting early spring
  • Making a mini wormery by learning where worms like to live and their importance for healthy soil and plants
  • Conducting a treasure hunt for items that can be built into a bug hotel that will attract wildlife onto your plot
  • Collecting this year’s seeds from spent chard, lettuce and sunflowers ready to grow next year

For more gardening activity cards and advice on starting a school garden or gardening club visit

Many of the schools, groups and families that we work with are eking out every last inch of space to get children learning and playing outdoors. From fruit-bearing baskets on balconies ripe for the picking to make-shift mud kitchens using old pots and pans, gardening provides so many opportunities to teach, calm and inspire.

Andrea Van Sittart, Head of Outreach Development at the RHS

About The Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. The charity’s vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all that it does, from inspirational gardens and shows, through our scientific research, to education and community programmes.

For more information about the RHS, visit

Van Hage

Why not bring your children to Van Hage at PE1 this autumn? With a selection of beautiful blooms, fruits and vegetables, outdoor gadgets and educational goodies, there is plenty on offer to help encourage those little green fingers!

The garden centre is open 9am to 5.30pm from Monday to Saturday and 9.30am to 4pm on Sundays.

Explore Blogs