Nurturing Care has a cognitive as well as a scientific approach to the activity. ‘Caring’ is learnt early in life, be it for plants, pets people, resources, etc. ‘Care’ often forms a projection of a person’s interaction as adults. Certainly, we are talking about genuine ‘care’ and not the social care, one frequently displays for a person or thing. Obviously, the perspective of stimulating naturalistic intelligence through propagating plants and nurturing them teaches many concepts and fosters multiple skill development.
Nurturing Care in early childhood is about developing genuine concern or interest in something / someone. This activity is about developing curiosity, setting up a goal and learning to care for plants.
As this activity is about caring for plants and learning to grow / propagate them, it also nurtures naturalistic intelligence that is one of ‘Multiple Intelligence’. This activity is about kitchen gardening too, so that children are oriented to the habit of growing some herbs, leaves, vegetables, etc. Science and socio-emotional development in the background cannot be hidden, as children will develop holistic skills.
What would you need?
- A few stems of mint
- A reusable / disposable plastic container / bottle
How to work with the material?
- Take a few stems of mint from the bunch.
- Involve your child to sort out and find at least 2-3 stems where he / she can find roots.
- Show the tiny roots at the spot where leaves attach to the stem.
- If the child does not find even a single stem, simply, ask him / her to find 2-3 thick stems.
- Provide a container of water and a disposable plastic bowl / bottle.
- Now, explain about the growth of roots when the plants gets water and sunlight. Mint can propagate without soil and grow for a few weeks.
- Fill up the disposable bowl / bottle with water up to 3/4 its height.
- Now, encourage the child to place the stems of mint in such a way that their lower leaves (from where the roots may develop) are sunk in water.
- Tell your child that he / she is responsible for the care and growth of the plant, so, changing the water of the container everyday and keeping it at a place where it gets some sun light is necessary.
- Observe everyday and ask to pluck of dried leaves and once roots begin to develop.
- Ask the child be more careful in handling the delicate roots while changing the water as the new roots are delicate.
- You may transfer the stems into a soil filled pot for further propagation.
- Child can pluck a few leaves after 3 weeks and use them in a salad / dip with snack.