When we share facts about plants for kids, we often start out with dry, boring stuff like how to define botany. Unfortunately, that’s how most textbooks present plants. But, that’s not how to teach kids about plants. I certainly didn’t come to love plants because of the diagrams and hard to pronounce vocabulary words. In fact, that’s a great way to reinforce the idea that plants are boring and irrelevant. Kids may even go so far as to say that they hate plants–they hate learning about them and hate visiting the woods and gardens. To them, it just looks like a sea of green that might give them hives! But, I have facts about plants for kids that might turn their ears if not their hearts. Ready?
7 Facts About Plants for Kids (and adults) Who Hate Plants
Plants can ease allergies.
Suffer from lots of sneezing, headaches, and brain fog? Maybe your indoor air is making you sick. Did you know that indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air pollution? That’s right! It comes from off gassing. Paint, furniture, vinyl flooring, stoves and furnaces, carpeting, and the cleaners we use all produce fumes that can make us feel sick. But, guess what? Keeping houseplants can help get rid of these fumes. And then you feel better.
Plants can make you happier.
Did you know that spending time in nature can help fight depression? Research on nature and depression shows that those who spend 90 minutes walking in nature enjoy improved mental health. So, kids and adults who spend time outdoors in a natural setting end up happier. It doesn’t have to be woods, either. It can be open grassland dotted with trees, the beach, or any other natural, non-urbanized setting. With rising anxiety and other mood disorders in children, this fact about plants for kids becomes ever more important.
Spending time with plants can help you get better grades.
With all the emphasis on STEM and early reading and writing, kids spend more time with tech and less outside playing. In fact, many schools don’t have recess or even gym class anymore. In addition, we parents often insist on summer bridge activities that keep kids indoors. But, this is a mistake. Spending time in nature improves academic performance. So, kids, you might not hate plants so much if you knew that they could help you do better in school. So, it’s not the worksheets but the wild outdoor play of previous generations that helps kids succeed.
A great fact about plants for kids is they’re toys!
Wood blocks, anyone? How about forts? Tree roots and pinecones, giant burdock leaves and fuzzy cattails–these are the stuff of imagination and they’re plants. Plants provide endless possibilities for fun play places and new storylines. Fairies sail away on maple seeds and ogres search out hollow logs when you explore plants as part of your play,
Creating with plants can help you make friends.
Kids, are you having trouble making friends? Can’t come up with a gift idea for mom that won’t cost your whole allowance? One of the great facts about plants for kids is that they make super (and free) gifts! You can find wildflowers and lacey leaves all over the place. These make beautiful bouquets. Press them in a plant press, glue them to card stock, and you’ve got elegant notecards for sending personal notes or for gifting. Or, you could also gather some long stemmed flowers and weave them together for wreaths and crowns. Try any of these ideas and offer them to family and potential new friends to see their faces light up!
Knowing plants can help you in an emergency
I hope you never find yourself lost in the woods, but it happens more frequently than you might think. You might run ahead of the rest of your family when out on a hike. Teens often plan to go out hiking with friends and overestimate their knowledge of the area. In any case, plants can save your life. We often only think of trees providing shelter, but other plants can provide food, water, and first aid. If you take the time to learn the plants in your area, you will be grateful.
One of the best facts about plants for kids is we eat them!
That’s right! Food doesn’t come from the grocery store. Instead, it comes from farms, gardens, and forests. And, a large number of the nearly 400,000 plant species are edible. Who could hate plants when you eat them every day? Think you hate vegetables? I bet you like corn or potatoes. And, I have never met a kid who didn’t like fruit. Well, fruits are like delicious packages created by plants specifically for people and animals to eat.
Think you hate plants? I bet after thinking about these facts about plants for kids you think differently. Want to dig into plants even more? Grab the free plant bingo game above!