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How to teach preschoolers about azaleas

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In late April, azaleas are in full bloom in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding area. They come in various colors, such as pink and white. This is the time of year when it is best to teach preschoolers to identify azaleas.

It is important that preschoolers can identify azaleas because they can be toxic to cats and dogs, if ingested, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. Preschoolers should learn never to give a cat or dog an azalea to eat. On the other hand, butterflies seem to love their nectar and birds seem to love nesting in azaleas. Preschoolers should also learn to use caution around azaleas, as they tend to attract bees, which can sting if disturbed.

The best way to teach a child how to identify an azalea bush is to show the child a live azalea bush with the flowers in bloom. According to The Garden Helper, “All Azaleas are members of the Rhododendron family”. Some are “low growing”, under two feet, and some “can grow as tall as twelve feet.”

White Azalea
White Azalea photo by Lynn Wise

White Azalea

White Azaleas
White azaleas prefer partially shaded areas, according to Karen Carter of Demand Media.  In addition to the flower, the azalea bush may also attract bees, butterflies, and a home for birds. See if you can spot the butterfly and the bird nest in the photograph.

Pink Azalea
Pink Azalea photo by Lynn Wise

Pink Azalea

Pink Azaleas
Pink Azaleas tend to grow only in the Eastern part of the United States. They tend to be more predominant in North Carolina than South Carolina, according to the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA).

Azalea bush and bird nest
Azalea bush and bird nest photo by Lynn Wise

Azalea bush and bird nest

Azalea Bush
The best way to get preschoolers to remember how to identify the azalea bush is to plant one. Allow your preschooler to choose a bush at your local nursery. Help your preschooler to identify the plant and to choose a partially shady area to plant it. Learn to plant your own azalea bush here .