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Growing Anew: A Therapeutic Activity for Teenagers

March 7, 2013

Therapeutic activities for teenagers – Growing Anew

Main aim: Gardening is a common activity used as a relaxation technique. Encouraging teenagers to plant a tree can be a way of letting go of issues and starting afresh

Name: Growing Anew

Type: Therapeutic activities for teenagers

Participant: 1-2 participants per plant

Duration: 30 minutes

Materials: One young plant which will grow into a small tree (not seedling as plants are visible to the teen), gardening tools and soil, gloves, water

Preparation: The best time to plant a tree is in autumn or early spring. However, with care, planting in other seasons may be possible if a hardy plant or tree is chosen. Another point to note is that you should check if any local requirements must be complied with before digging any holes on public property.

Instructions

  • Choose a suitable place for the plant.
  • Dig a hole that is around 3-4 times the width of the plant pot. The larger the hole the better as it will give the plant room to grow.
  • Loosen the soil surrounding the hole to allow the roots of the plant to easily take hold.
  • Turn the plant upside down in the pot to gently remove it from the pot. DO NOT shake out the soil from the roots of the plant as the plant should be inserted as a whole into the ground.
  • Insert the plant in the hole which should not be too deep or too shallow. The plant should sit nicely in the hole with the level of the soil from the pot at level with the ground.
  • Mix fertilizer or compost with the soil if necessary.
  • Cover the hole with the soil that was the dugout.
  • Water the plant, allowing the soil to settle and eliminate air pockets.
  • As the last step, cover the soil with mulch and water over the mulch.
  • When the activity ends, ask the participants for feedback and their feelings after doing the activity.

Rationale

Studies have shown that gardening can be therapeutic and that it may be the best form of fighting stress.
 


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