3 Awesome Activities to Teach your Child about Plants

Your first grader might have questions about everything under the sun, and the natural world is a source of constant wonder. Learning about plants and the process of germination first-hand can be a wonderful lesson for kids. It also allows you to satiate their natural curiosity and teach them about the environment at a stroke. But beware of swamping your child with a botany tome filled with Latin plant names and polysyllabic words – that will only put him off plants for the rest of his life. Here are 3 activities to help your youngster discover the life sciences, and plants in particular, in a participative manner.

Activities to Teach your Child about Plants
"Day 58: Plants on a Window Sill" by Emily is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  1. Plant scavenger hunt: Spring is the perfect time to explore the outdoors with your kids. Plan a scavenger hunt in a nearby location that thrives with plants and trees. Have them carry a notebook or diary where they can record their observations about plant growth and observe the life cycle of plants at close quarters. Your child will get the opportunity to observe plants in their natural habitat, the specific growing conditions required by certain species, and also the interaction (if any) between plants and animals. Additionally, your kids can learn about plant species that are native to your region and recognize them by their physical characteristics.
  2. Botanical garden: Increasing urbanization has resulted in fewer opportunities for kids to explore the natural world. A visit to a nearby botanical garden will allow your child to develop an interest in gardens and plants and have loads of fun in the bargain. Many of these places have special gardens where your kids can sniff and touch fragrant herbs and exotic plants and trees. Some botanical gardens even allow children to create, build and explore the world of plants as part of the educational process. Take this opportunity to reinforce his science lessons by pointing out the different parts of a plant.
  3. Home garden: Creating your own backyard garden (or even in a container in a window) will be a valuable hands-on experience for your child. By planting seeds, nurturing saplings and watching them grow with pride, your child learns about the life cycle of plants. Try and designate a special area for your child’s garden, depending on his age and the space available. Be sure to select plants for their color, form and diversity as far as the climate allows. There are many plants that delight and stimulate us with their wonderful shapes and scents – try to plant at least a few and watch your child’s growing curiosity about all things green.

Learning about plants is part of every child’s science curriculum ; however, it also has many other benefits to offer. It instills respect for the ecology, a nurturing spirit, and a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to replicate inside a classroom.

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