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Life Skills with Plants: Significant Benefits of Houseplants for Kids
Plants benefit children in many ways. Gardening with kids offers benefits that most of us might overlook, yet the effect on their lives imprints firmly. While outdoor gardening might offer seasonal enjoyment, we suggest you consider houseplants for a year-round hobby.
Homeschooling families have created many unit studies centered on gardening, both indoors and out. However, the benefits surpass any schooling options. In fact, many traditional schools implement a similar approach and find that gardening with kids offers skill training beyond simply growing plants.
How does growing plants benefit children? We’ve gathered a shortlist of twelve ways. However, we invite you to add your own.
Gardening with Kids; 12 Ways Plants Benefit Children
- Learning a new hobby develops research and study skills that prove useful throughout life. Knowing how to learn offers opportunities throughout life from hobbies to personal interests and careers.
- Gain an appreciation for a plant life cycle, from seed to mature plant. Watching a seed or cutting develop through stages into a mature plant provides an increased awareness of the cycle of life.
- Learn about the nutrients that plants need. They also become versed in the role of the sun and water. This helps develop an appreciation of plant sciences.
- More science learning comes from discovering the complexity of the plant structure. Examining the tiny root hairs on roots to the stigma of the flower and all the other parts between encourages children’s interest in the world of science.
- Use math skills to determine amounts of nutrients and water. Math skills help determine the dimensions and volume of containers. Indeed, caring for plants creates plenty of opportunities for using practical math skills.
- Reading skills benefit when children read about the plants, their type, care, and maintenance. When a child wants to know more about their new hobby, the thirst for knowledge leads them to read both short facts and lengthy articles and books.
- Research shows that allowing children to get dirty helps to develop the immune system
- Growing edibles such as lettuces and herbs encourage an appreciation for food value and culinary skills. A windowsill herb garden produces a perpetual source of fresh herbs to season foods. Adding flavor to vegetables and bread allows children to experiment with foods they have grown.
- Some bugs harm plants, but some are also beneficial to plants. Children learn basic entomology as they identify them. While fewer pests inhabit indoor plants, some do find their way inside. Also, many plants benefit from time outside during the warmer summer months, allowing additional opportunities.
- Develop a sense of responsibility. Much like having a pet, a plant requires regular care and maintenance. Some plants require daily water checks while others need less. Sunlight needs also vary greatly. Learning what each plant needs and remember to provide the needed care builds accountability. Also, children see the results of their efforts.
- Encourages exploring new plants and ideas. Stretches the imagination, while providing a reason to research and explore. Seeing one plant grow and develop from daily care stimulates the child’s interest in other plants. A healthy, growing plant becomes a reward that motivates the child to further his skills.
- A bonus benefit: Families enjoying the plant hobby find it helps togetherness bonding. While a child eventually learns to care for her plants with little assistance, she needs help to begin. Even with fine-tuned skills, children enjoy showing their plants to family members and explaining what they have learned. In many families, children and parents care for houseplants as a team.
With so many ways that house plants benefit children, families often choose gardening with children in homes and schools.
Looking for more information? For ideas and plants to try, see our article on Houseplants for Children