Studies in the UK and USA have shown that children and indeed adults too who garden or play in the soil experience positive mood changes. They become calmer! Certain microbes in soil, Microbacterium Vaccae, actually stimulate the brain's production of Serotonin, the body's calming hormone.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/antidepressant-microbes-soil.htm,You can read more here, on the Australian Science website - soil and depression
No wonder I can't wait to get out into my garden some days!
For anxious kids, this can be a fabulous way to effect change, especially if they are prone to depression.
- Buy a big pot for your balcony and fill it with soil, not potting mix, from the local nursery/hardware store.
- Plant something edible, like lettuce, bok choy, spring onion, or herbs such as rosemary, chives, dill, coriander and thyme.
- Plant something colourful - this lifts the mood to.
- Tend your mini-garden daily. read up on what sort of ph the plants like, watering and plant food, pruning etc.
- Don't use gloves! But wash your hands when you're finished of course.
- If you don't have a balcony, a spot near the window will do.
- Pull out the weeds! Again, don't use gloves. Get right in there and get dirty.
- Instead of a sandpit, build a small soil play area and add some utensils such as bucket, spade, old plastic pots etc. The 'clam shell' shallow outdoor pool/sandpit would be perfect.