In earlier days, children used to play in outdoors with plant parts and their products for fun making and games. However with modernity and advancement in science and technology, this indigenous knowledge is vanishing day by day. There is no scientific documentation of plants being used for fun and games by children. The present study carried out in different tribal and non-tribal village schools of Koraput and Khordha districts of Odisha, India in a systematic manner documented 90 plant species distributed in 85 genera spread over 44 families. The plant species recorded include 35 trees, 21 shrubs, 24 herbs and 10 climbers/creepers. The plants widely used as play material include Artocarpus heterophyllus, Dendrocalamus strictus, Cocos nucifera, Calotropis gigantea, Ficus benghalensis, Mangifera indica, Musa paradisiaca, Phoenix sylvestris, Tamarindus indica, etc. The different plant parts such as leaves, fruits, flowers, seeds etc. and their mode of use by the participating respondents have been recorded and discussed. It was noted that the most and frequently used plant parts as the source of play were fruits followed by leaves, flowers, and seeds. The economic importance of plants, besides their implications in teaching and learning along with their sustainable utilization and conservation is discussed.
Keywords: Plant biodiversity, conservation, fun, modernity, advancement, technology, utilization.
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