Autodidacts Creating Culture

Watering Plants Can Engage a Child

Image borrowed for educational purposes from Kiind Magazine

Give a girl a few herbs to grow and what will she learn?

Filling, hauling and lifting the watering can to pour water upon plants, the child advances her bodily intelligence.

In time, she’ll recognize and name the basil, the parsley, the red leaf lettuce and the chives, a naturalist intelligence.

Through her observation of the plant forms, the little girl is discovering patterns and repetitions of leaf shapes, fractals in nature.

By observing one perfect droplet of water she will have identified a sphere, geometry outdoors.

By doing tasks which enable her plants to thrive, she’s fulfilling her needs and interests, her intrapersonal intelligence.

Perhaps she will recognize the interrelationship between herself and the living things she cares for.

She may notice that some plants are stronger than others, a Darwinian’ concept:  survival-of-the-fittest.

Image borrowed for educational purposes from Kiind Magazine

Image borrowed for educational purposes from Kiind Magazine

Sure nature deficit disorder exists, but the child in the photo above imbibes the natural world like roots absorb water.

What else do you think a kid learns from growing plants?

Related posts

Interpreting the learning in photos of people engaged in some thing.

What the heck is this vlog about?

Find more images of Ideal Education on my Pinterest site.

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences

8 Responses to “Watering Plants Can Engage a Child”

  1. artisticmilestone

    Very informative, thanx for this tip. What type of plant is the easiest to grow for non-green thumbs? I would really like my child to know about the process of how the plants grow, so I prefer plants that grow easily and pretty quick :)

  2. Kristin

    Hi artisticmilestone,

    I think herbs are the easiest and most useful plants to grow either in a container or in the ground. I like to send my daughter out to collect herbs for our meal so she’s had to learn how to identify the plants. What kind of climate do you live in?

  3. Beauty Along the Road

    Sunflowers, peas, beans are really easy to grow and very gratifying for kids, as well.
    Kristin – I think that kids also learn about the seasons of life when growing plants: birth, growth, harvest, death. They learn that pruning something that doesn’t benefit the plant will make it stronger eventually (a metaphor for life). Also, taking care of plants is a little like taking care of a pet – taking responsibility, learning patience, taking care of something…lots of lessons available. Oh, and the most important one: food does not grow on supermarket shelves!

    • Kristin

      Hi Beauty…,

      You see, that’s why I like putting the question of “what is learned” out there for my readers.

      Your comments are right on the mark and helpful.

      Thank you.

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    Learning by doing… my favourite educational pedagogy. Gardening is one of our favourite activities. We just planted some chives and parsley yesterday! I’m also involving my daughter in the planning of our garden for the summer.

    Lovely pictures!

    • Kristin

      Hi Jennifer,

      Fantastic! So welcoming to read your response–and thanks for following me at Intrinsic.

      One of the reasons why I enjoy your blog, The Deliberate Mom, is because you feature photos of your children totally absorbed by some thing.

      Would you ever consider sharing an image of that sort, I would happily feature it, and provide a photo credit as well as a link to your blog.

      Best Regards,


      Sent from my iPhone

  5. treetop45

    Such a sweet picture. My own kids, now grown, always loved to have a little plant of his or her own. Now that I have Grands,I have managed to pass that “love of plants”, to 3 of my 6 .
    Thanks for sharing with us.


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