More Activity Ideas
- Introduce your child to the concept of living and non-living things. Encourage her to share her own ideas about what things are living and what things are non-living. Together cut out and sort magazines pictures of a variety of living and non-living things.
- Visit a farm, community garden, or other location that grows plants. Encourage your child to use all his senses to explore the plants (touching and tasting only if allowed and safe). Talk with someone who works there about how workers take care of the plants.
- Become “tree detectives.” Choose a tree in your yard or near your home and get to know it. You can measure its trunk with string, do leaf and bark rubbings or search for critters and bugs that live in it. Visit your tree throughout the year. Talk about it, draw it, take pictures of it, etc., to document how it changes from season to season.
- Invite your child to collect all types of plant parts—leaves, pods, seeds, and twigs. Then together make a collage with them.
- Read a story about planting seeds, for example, The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone or Jack’s Garden by Jack Cole. Then use seeds and props to retell and act out the story together.
- Go outside and let your child get messy. Bring a shovel and dig a hole in the ground. Look around for seeds, plant parts, roots, etc.
- Set up a small “garden area” in a corner of your living area. Plant in clear containers a variety of seeds and bulbs, such as pinto beans, marigolds, grass seeds, and garlic bulbs. Watch and compare how the different roots and plants grow.
- Plant sunflower seeds in your yard, in a community garden plot, or start them in the house and then transplant them outdoors (so birds don’t eat the seeds). Plant extra seeds in case some of them do not grow. Make a record book “My Sunflower” and have your child draw pictures to show the plants’ growth. Work together to care for the seeds. [Watch the video PEEP and the Big Wide World “Peep Plants a Seed” and see what happens when Peep plants a sunflower seed. Type in the Search window: Watch Together: Peep Plants a Seed.]
- Make simple bird feeders in the winter. Together roll pinecones in peanut butter or lard (if you or your child is allergic to peanut butter). Then roll the pinecone in birdseed. Hang the feeder outdoors and watch the hungry birds come to enjoy.
- Have fun conversations with your child when you are out and about and help her understand that plants are living things. Ask her to think about plants: What if she was a plant? What part of her body would be the roots, the stem, the leaves, the flowers? What is similar about the way she grows to the way a plant grows? When you return from your errands, have her draw a self-portrait of herself as a plant.
- Give your child a measuring stick or string and head outside to an area that has plants. Have her predict which plant is the tallest, biggest, etc. Then measure the plants. Make up songs to sing as you measure, such as this one (sung to the tune of Old MacDonald Had a Farm):
The pink flower is the tallest.
Yes, oh yes, it is.
It is taller than all the others.
Yes, oh yes, it is.