Alaska Hiking

Plants, the human food supply, and even healthy air all greatly depend on the actions taken by the adults of today. While there is a lot of talk among adults about what should and should not be done to keep the environment healthy, it is important to include children in the conversation, as well. Teaching kids about horticulture is crucial for the continued success of gardening and plants in general. Inspiring in young kids a love of plants increases the likelihood they will pursue that interest as an adult. Kids who become interested in plants may grow up to become horticulturists who will work towards keeping the plants of tomorrow healthy.

When teaching kids about horticulture, it's important to start with the word itself. Many children, and even some adults, might be unfamiliar with this word. By definition, horticulture is the science or art of cultivating gardens and growing fruits, vegetables, turf, flowers, and ornamental plants. This typically involves small crops grown in one's garden, in an orchard, greenhouse, or a nursery. One of the easiest ways for teachers and parents to introduce children to horticulture is through gardening at home or at school. Gardening allows kids to be active participants while they learn. Not only does this make it more fun for the children, but being able to use one's senses, such as touch, sight, and even smell, can make learning much easier for some. Basic gardening involves growing plants from seedlings, planting them at the right time in the right environment, and nurturing them as they grow. Teaching children to garden, however, is only a small part of horticulture. To excel at gardening, children must understand plant anatomy, the plant life cycle, and how plants grow.

Part of teaching kids about the life cycle of plants is educating them on pollination. Pollination is the fertilization process that allows plants to reproduce. Pollination occurs when the pollen of one plant is transferred to another plant. The pollen comes from the male part of a flower, which is called the anther, and transferred to the female part of another flower called the stigma. It is generally carried from one plant to the other by butterflies, bees, birds, bats, and other forms of wildlife. This type of pollination is known as biotic pollination. Less frequently, pollination occurs as a result of wind or even rain transferring the pollen of grasses or certain types of trees. This is called abiotic pollination. Without proper pollination, flowering plants are not able to naturally reproduce. Kids can witness this process while watching butterflies or birds move from one plant to another. They can also watch videos of pollination in progress online.

Teaching Kids About Pollination

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