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Children and Plants

Does your child have a plant? Encourage your child to grow a plant on his very own, and help him increase his knowledge about plant life and about Mother Earth.
 
Even though you may have plants in your home, or in your garden, how many of them have been planted by your children? One? Five? Or none? 
 

Experiments

Give your child a few small pots, or paper or plastic glasses (with a hole at the bottom, so excess water can drain out. This is very important, because if there is too much water, the roots of the plant are unable to draw in oxygen, and the plant effectively 'drowns'.). 

Fill up the pot or glass with soil. Either cut a portion from an existing plant and let your child plant it in his pot, or let him start from scratch, by planting seeds or beans. 

If your child is planting mustard or radish seeds, he could first soak them in water for a few days, until they begin to sprout. Once they have sprouted, your child can plant them in soil. 

He should add a little manure, to help fertilize the soil. 

Encourage your child to find out as much as possible about his plant. Will it give flowers? What is the name of the plant? How does a plant soak up the water? What are roots? What is chlorophyll? Your child will remember these details far more vividly if he is growing the plant himself, instead of simply trying to learn the facts by reading a textbook. 
 

Plants help prevent soil erosion

Explain to your child the importance of trees and plants. Trees and their roots keep soil firmly in place, and prevent it from getting washed away and eroded. If there were no trees, the soil would just keep tumbling down from hilltops! Your child can try to pull his plant out lightly, and he will notice that it is firmly attached to the soil. 
 

Plants grow in the direction of the sun

Let your child plant seeds in 3 plastic glasses. Let him keep 2 glasses upright, while he turns the third glass on its side. He will notice that all plants will grow roots towards the earth, and leaves towards the sun. After a few months, once the plant has started growing, he should place the third glass upright. The leaves, which now appear sideways, will slowly start reaching upwards, in the direction of the sun. 
 

Advantages of 'Project Plant'

Growing a plant is a great practical exercise for your child. Not only will he enjoy doing it, but he will also get great satisfaction from the fact that he has just brought forth a life. 

Once the plant starts growing, and sprouting flowers, your child's joy will know no bounds. It will also give him confidence that he has succeeded in a particular task. 

Your child will learn the functions of the soil, the manure and the plant seeds. He will learn that a plant requires sunlight and water to grow. 

You could help conserve rare plants by replanting their seeds, and increasing their population. 

Gardening also makes for an extremely satisfying hobby, and is something that your child can continue doing even when he is much, much older.  

Experiments such as this will also teach your child patience, as your child will have to wait a while before his hard work bears fruit. A child with patience will have fixed goals in life, and will be willing to work dedicatedly and perseverance, towards his goal. An impatient child will allow himself to get frustrated if he doesn't achieve immediate results. Working with plants allows a child to get used to the idea that he has to sow the seeds early on, in order to reap the benefits in the future. 
 

To add your views on this article or read other comments, click here.
 

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