Illustration for article titled Why Your Child Needs a PlantPhoto: Switlana Sonyashna (Shutterstock)

We all benefit from caring for something – maybe now more than ever, if that is the case Increase in dog adoptions during the pandemic is a hint. And hiring them to care for another living being is a great way to teach children responsibility and empathy (with your help and guidance to keep them alive). But if adding a new furry family member to your home is not an option right now, there is another way we can provide our children with a grooming experience – with a “pet” plant.

Plants have been shown to offer something to their caretakers many health benefits: They reduce stress, they can increase your well-being, they can improve air quality and they can even make you more productive. (Plus, they don’t pee all over the floor.) That’s why Veronica Moore, a blogger and plant therapy attorney in eastern Pennsylvania, helped lead a program at her local school bringing 300 children to kindergarten and teacher training.

As Molly Bilinski writes The morning call::

Plants mean a lot to Moore, which she used as a remedy along with traditional therapy after her sister died unexpectedly in 2018, she explained. During the shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, she got plants from local vendors and noticed it [her daughter] Hunter, 4, was also very interested in her.

“She had a hard time not seeing her friends, not going to school, and really going to this place from ‘What am I doing? ‘Said Moore. “It was a very difficult transition for them too. So we took care of our plants together. “

Illustration for article titled Why Your Child Needs a Plant

Caring for plants can also help teach kids how to solve problems as they will inevitably forget to water a plant for a week or they will love and overwater it. If you see a plant declining in health (in this example your child named the plant “Freddie” because they can and should name their plant), this is an opportunity for the family to do a little research together to find out how to return sweet Freddie to his former happy, healthy self.

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If Freddie gets too big for his pot, you can replant him together and talk about how that means he’ll grow and thrive just like her. On the other hand, if Fred is too far away and needs to be laid to rest, you can still use the situation as an opportunity to regroup, talk about what worked and what didn’t – and then try Freddie # 2 again .

If you are not a great plant person yourself, Garden know-how offers these suggestions as solid starter plants for kids (with links to each for more care information):

Snake plant: Low light and water requirements with long, interesting leaves in different patterns.

Spider plant: Low light and water requirements. These plants plant small hanging plants that are fun and easy to transplant for an interesting project.

African violet: These plants are very easy to care for, bloom reliably, and have soft, flaky leaves that are pleasant to the touch.

Aloe vera: Low water consumption. These plants are interesting to touch and can have a calming effect on irritated skin. Put them in a bright window.

Sensitive plant: An interactive plant that children love to touch.

Venus Flytrap: Carnivorous plants are cool no matter how old you are. Slightly harder to care for, these are better for older children.

And in the meantime, Moore has an account dedicated to all things plants @brownskinplantmama. I also followed @Blackplantchick’s Account for a couple of months and it’s well and good, how’s your podcast, Black Plant Chick Podif you want to learn more about plant care.