How plants can foster wellbeing in early childhood centres

Monday, December 9, 2019

A focus on wellbeing in the workplace is vital for individuals working in childcare. It’s important that educators have the support, tools and opportunities needed to foster positive feelings which can then flow through the centre, especially in times of seasonal stress!

There are always going to be times that are more stressful than others. For some this may be the lead up to the busy Christmas period. However, on a day-to-day basis, there are many things we can do that can improve wellbeing and reduce stress. These include exercise, mindfulness and finding support from others. Another approach is bringing a little nature indoors…

How plants foster wellbeing in children

Greenery to improve wellbeing in the workplace

It is well-known that spending time outdoors has many benefits for the children in our care, as well as for us as adults. Research continually shows that nature has calming and restorative effect on people. When most of us are asked to think of a calming or happy place, chances are it will be somewhere close to nature like a lush park, beautiful countryside or the beach.

Of course, we can’t be outside in nature all the time, so what about bringing nature inside with us? Having plants in the home and workplace doesn’t just look nice, but they can boost wellbeing, reduce stress and anxiety and even improve the quality of the air. According to research, introducing indoor plants at work can reduce sickness, heighten creativity and increase productivity.

Choosing the right plants for your centre

The wellbeing of educators, children and families is always the number one priority in early childhood education, so the more indoor plants, the better! You’ll want to choose carefully though as some can be high maintenance. After all, an ‘indoor’ plant doesn’t really exist, so you need to find plants that are tolerant of living inside.

Plants that are easy to care for while still rewarding you with all the benefits to wellbeing in the workplace are the goal. Succulents make great indoor plants as they have the ability to store away water and survive dry conditions, including dry air inside. In fact, less is more when it comes to watering them and once a week through summer to every three weeks in winter should do the trick. Other options to consider are spider plants, ferns and peace lilies.

When so much of the day is spent indoors, incorporating some plantlife into your workplace is a great approach to keeping wellbeing a focus for your childcare centre. Furthermore, why not make caring for indoor plants part of children’s learning experience, fostering a connection with nature and appreciation for its ability to improve our health and wellbeing.

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