Spring is just around the corner. That means it will be time to plant flowers soon. Get your kids involved! There are so many benefits to having your children help plant and care for flowers and plants!
Preparing to plant
- Discuss what your child will need to plant flowers. Have your child try to tell you what they think they may need (i.e. seeds, soil/dirt, a pot, water, etc.)
- Have your child write a list, or provide your child with a list of items that they will need to begin planting.
- Have your child collect these items.
- This process helps them reason through planning how they will complete the task, things they need, where they may find these items, and how much of each item they may need. If they have to write items down, they will also be practicing their handwriting skills.
Planting the seeds
There are several ways that you can challenge your child’s ability to follow directions while planting.
- Demonstrate how to do each step
- Have your child watch you complete each step. Then they can copy how you completed it. To make it easy, do one thing at a time. To make it more challenging, complete a few steps at a time. Try saying, “first do ___, then do ___” to help them follow along.
- Write instructions
- For older children, having them follow written directions challenges their reading, comprehension, and problem solving skills. Make a step-by-step list of what they need to do to plant the flower.
While planting, encourage your child to touch the seeds, soil, and water. This is great for messy play and sensory play. This process also challenges fine motor skills.
Caring for the plants
Once the flowers are planted, they need water to grow. Depending on the size and type of flower, watering plants is different.
- Use a spray bottle: For smaller, indoor plants, a spray bottle may be perfect for watering. Encourage your child to use 1 hand to spray the flowers. This is great for strengthening. Have them complete a certain number of sprays with the right hand and then left hand.
- Use a watering can: For some larger indoor or outdoor plants, a watering can is useful. Have your child fill it up, carefully carry it, and then water the plants. This is great for strengthening, balance, and problem solving skills to make sure they do not spill the water.
- Using a hose: If the plants are outside and require a lot of water, have your child pull the hose over to the flower. This is great for strengthening and heavy work.
If your child is ready for more responsibility, make it their job to remember to water the plants. Use alarms or written schedules to help them remember when they need to water the plants.
Watching the plants grow
Checking on plants to see how they are growing is so fun. This is a great opportunity for children to practice their speech skills. They can describe what they see and ask questions to learn more about the plants and flowers.
Making a home and yard beautiful with flowers can be so much fun with kids. Get them involved! There are many benefits, no matter what age or ability! Talk to your therapist for specific suggestions on how to get your child involved!