Children in modern societies are losing touch with nature and plants. Urbanization and digitalization have changed the way people spend their leisure time. This has led to a decrease in contact with nature. Nowadays children prefer to spend their free time in shopping malls and public pools or at home watching movies and playing computer games. In such conditions, what is the role and importance of plants in kids’ lives?
Psychologists recommend that parents provide space for children to interact with plants, even in apartment environments, as plants have numerous benefits for kids. For instance, Physical activity in open environments with plants promotes mental health and reduces anxiety and depression in children. Activities in natural environments are essential for children, especially those 6 to 10 years old. Activity in these environments promotes physical growth and cognitive and emotional development.
Urban life and children gardening
Several researchers have found that natural environments relieve stress and have a restorative effect on people. Some studies have reported that green space is beneficial, even important for a child’s health in cities.
Unfortunately, urban communities have turned children’s direct contact with nature into virtual communities. As a result, children become accustomed to a poor and polluted environment. If children do not interact with plants, they become hyperactive.
Children need to connect with nature to develop their personalities. Children exposed to flowers and plants at a young age have higher mental health than their peers. These children are more responsible and feel more relaxed.
Gardening is a healthy and fun activity for children, which is the best solution for increasing children’s contact with nature and plants. Gardening can develop a new skill in kids. For instance, it can strengthen their self-confidence by spending time in the garden with plants and growing their food. Preschoolers are more interested in nature. They often spend their time outdoors in the natural environment.
Importance of plants in kids‘ lives
As we mentioned in the article <<The Benefits of Gardening for Children>>, kids gardening activities and children’s relationship with nature and plants have countless benefits that can lead to formation of specific skills in them. But apart from gardening, the main question in this article is: What is the importance of plants for kids?
To understand the importance of plants in kids’ lives, we need to understand their benefits for humans, especially children. Some of the benefits of having plants are as below:
Plants absorb CO2 in the air and produce oxygen. As a result of their presence at home or classroom, the oxygen level of the corresponding environment will increase. This leads to better functioning of children’s mental system and better body performance. In addition, there are several numbers of plants that can absorb harmful and polluting substances in the air, such as formaldehyde, and purify the air. This means that the presence of plants in children’s lives makes them less exposed to polluted air and have a healthier life.
Many studies have shown that the presence of plants can reduce stress in humans, especially children. As mentioned in the article<< Benefits of Plants in Classrooms>>, the presence of plants in classrooms can reduce student stress. This is also true at homes. Modern life has caused lots of stress on children. In such condition, children need a safe and stress-free environment where they can easily play and learn. That is why it is necessary to use plants in homes to create a calm condition for children. In addition to reducing stress, plants also prevent many mental illnesses in children.
Home decoration and playing tool
Certainly, one of the children’s most important and enjoyable activities is playing. Children learn lots of things through playing. Every child likes to play in a happy and beautiful environment. As we know, the main place for children to play in today’s apartment conditions is inside the house. So, the presence of plants in the house makes the house much more beautiful and, as a result, provides a happy and attractive environment for children to play.
On the other hand, plants themselves can become a tool for children to play indoors. Children can use them as toys, talk to them or tell them stories. They can put them together to make a jungle for their toys and, in short, use them in their childish games.
Interest in fruits and vegetables
Another importance of plants in kids’ lives is the effect of the presence of plants on kids’ diets. Plants that produce crops can increase children’s interest in consuming fruits and vegetables. This story is most evident when the plant is grown by the child himself. In such a case, as the product is the result of his endeavor, he will be more interested in consuming the final product. Even if the plant is not grown by the child himself, living with them and seeing daily may increase their desire to eat fruits and vegetables. As we see today, rural children tend to eat more fruits and vegetables compared to urban children. One of the reasons for this could be the presence of more plants in the lives of rural children.
Power of understanding
Plants, like us humans, are living things. Their presence in children’s lives can raise so many questions in their minds. Children are curious, and as a result, they will look for the growth and life mechanism of plants. In this regard, children seek to discover the plants parts, their growth mechanism, and the mechanism of pollination, flowering, and producing fruits or crops. Such activity strengthens the children’s comprehension power and teaches them the cause-and-effect relationship.
To sum it up, the presence of plants in kids’ lives has numerous benefits. They can purify the air, reduce the stress, increase the comprehension power, increase children’s interest in consuming fruits and vegetables, and be used as a decoration or playing tool. This means that to have a healthy life with our kids, it is essential to have some plants in our house.