Welcome back! Care of plants is an activity that is available to children in a Montessori classroom that can also be adapted to the home environment.
Watering indoor plants: Chose a child-sized watering can or pitcher. The size of the container aids the child is being successful with this activity by limiting the total amount of water, which affects the weight of the full container, the ease with which the child can pour the water, and the size of any potential spills.
Indoor plants can also be cared for by gently wiping their leaves with a moist cotton ball (or small reusable pieces of fabric) to remove dust and dirt. Children can also gently remove dead leaves.
Watering outdoor plants: An opportunity to be outdoors, to experience and discuss seasons and weather, to observe nature, to care for plants!
Also, an opportunity for children to satisfy the need for exerting “maximum effort”… when watering plants outdoors, you can give children larger containers to fill with water. Having a larger watering container can help to satisfy the need for exerting “maximum effort” that young children, particularly toddlers, experience; it’s a sensitive period that looks like this: the child carries heavy things or pushes heavy items for seemingly no external reason (because he/she is being motivated by internal motivations).
By caring for the plants in their environment, children have the opportunity to be botanists, observing and learning what specific plants need in order to survive and thrive. And in the bigger picture, these budding botanists are connecting to the larger web of life on Earth.