Do You Have A Green Thumb?

This month, as part of the Ascend Curriculum, we take time to talk with children about the plant life cycle and what plants need to grow. Learning how to care for plants not only increases children’s scientific knowledge, but it also supports their growing sense of independence and responsibility.  Here are some fun ways you can reinforce these skills at home.

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—Go on a nature walk around your neighborhood. Look at the different types of plants you see along the way. Then, ask your child what those plants need to grow. Talk about how and why the plants might look different in each season.
  • Three-year-olds—If you have a green thumb, invite your child to help you tend a garden. Otherwise, you can start small by adopting a potted house plant. Read the instructions to know if it needs to be in direct or indirect light and how much water it needs. Be sure to select a plant that is non-toxic to children and pets, such as a spider plant, an African violet, a Boston fern, or a Christmas cactus (for a longer list, see: Invite your child to help take care of the plant throughout the week.
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Encourage your child to keep a journal about your growing plant. He can use a ruler to measure its height every few days. He can draw a picture of it once or twice a week. Ask your child to describe the changes he sees in the plant over time.

Skills Supported: earth science (plant life cycle and needs), gardening, responsibility, measurement, journaling, fine motor skills (writing/drawing)