Other than telling your child to run outside and roll around in the grass, there may be no faster way to connect them with nature than through the beautiful and simple everyday chore of cleaning a household plant.
In my practice as a parenting coach, I sometimes advise my clients to read a book by American author and journalist Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. He writes about the health benefits of exposing children to nature in a generation more often wired toward digital screens and video games.
The benefits are many, from the way they respect their immediate surroundings to the greater level of reverence they develop toward the global environment. But in the Montessori method, we also believe you don’t have to plan a big trip out to the woods every time you wish to instill some of this mindset.
By showing your child how to lightly and gently wipe the dust off the leaves of a house plant they can learn how to care for the space around them, too. A young child will enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the bright green blades reveal themselves once that layer of grey dust is wiped off with a small cloth or sponge.
Through this delicate task, your child will hone their concentration and ability to focus. They will learn how to exercise self-control when they see how harsh movements might otherwise damage the plant. They will begin to understand the plants are living beings, which fosters that greater sense of respect for the natural world.
An added bonus: this activity is also a great way for children to learn new vocabulary about botany, such as the many different parts and species of plants!
Find out how starting them out with the simple activity of dusting a houseplant can impart many rewarding lifelong lessons and skills, including a wonderful connection to the natural world!
P.S. Would you like my support and guidance setting-up your Montessori home? If, yes then go ahead and schedule a ‘Discovery Session’ with me. It’s free and you’ll know if we are a good fit. 😉