Plant Identification for Children

Updated February 21, 2017

Plant identification starts early, with toddlers appreciating the beauty and colour in something as simple as a pot of flowers. By preschool, children identify different types of plants and continue learning about plant identification throughout most of their school years.


Teaching children to identify plants encourages natural curiosity while providing useful information about the world. Safety rules about harmful plants keep children safe as they explore the outdoors. Hands-on study of plants gives children a basis for future scientific study.

Learning by Age

Teach children to never eat or touch unknown plants, including fruits and berries. Young children may not identify much beyond basic categorisation such as shrub, flower or tree. Grade-schoolers enjoy identifying plants by colour, size, changes through the seasons and uses. Drawing and labelling plant parts helps children identify similarities and differences. Branch out with older children to study unusual plants, such as giant sequoias or sunflowers, or plants living in harsh conditions.


Kids love playing games, so create some games based on plant identification. Possibilities include memorising state flowers and trees, matching games using cut-out magazine pictures or those taken in your yard and a plant version of "20 Questions." Point out subtle differences between similar plants to older children, focusing on flower shape, leaf arrangement and blooming time.

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About the Author

Kristin Urbauer has been freelance writing since 2009 when she began publishing work for various websites. She enjoys writing on a variety of topics including children, education, gardening, pets, mental health and alternative medicine. She attended the University of Nebraska where she majored in English.