I was thinking recently about how much I enjoy teaching the topic of seeds and plants to preschoolers. There’s something powerfully gratifying and awe-inspiring about awakening and cultivating life that attracts young and old alike. Planning around the theme of plants and seeds opens up a multitude of learning objectives. Here are just a few:
Plants and seeds fall under the Life Science category, and introduce preschoolers to many of the Life Science objectives. They can learn about the difference between living and non-living things, the needs of living things, and life cycles. (Sunflowers and pumpkins are particularly good specimens for plant life cycles, because their seeds are easily harvested, dried, and planted again.)
Experimenting and experiencing with seeds naturally leads to opportunities to observe and record observations, both critical science skills. Inherent in the skill of observation is the use of sensory skills to feel, smell, see, hear, even taste, differences! Observation of seed characteristics and differences also provides math opportunities for sorting and categorizing, as well as counting.
Don’t count out language skills as you’re jumping into this science based theme! Language is obviously fostered as you include fantastic literary experiences as there are a variety of great books on this topic, but vocabulary is also strengthened as the children talk about their experiences and observations. They begin using words like, sprout, germinate, dry, and moist, just to name a few. They describe colors and textures with new adjectives as they sort and differentiate. Learning the names for the basic parts of plants (root, stem, leaves, flower) also comes naturally with your exploration.
So, as I thought about how great this topic is, I decided to try keeping my entries focused on this theme for a while, linking the activities back to this home base page. Hopefully, it will be a helpful format I can continue to use to help me organize my own ideas, as well as to facilitate unit development for teachers or home experimentation for parents. Whatever your purpose is, I hope it’s helpful for you!
Here are some activities you can look for in coming days:
(I will link each entry to this one as they become available.)
See Through Seed Gardens (Science)
Seed Sorting (Math- Within Snack Activity)
The Empty Pot by Demi – Experiments in Seed Sprouting (Language, Science, Social Skills)
Make Your Sensory Table Pop! (Sensory) -Adapt with other seeds as well.
Seed Mosaics (Creative)
Seed Rain Tube (Sensory, Music)
Dramatic Play Ideas for Seeds and Plants (Dramatic Play)
5 Little Seeds – A Fingerplay (Language, Math)
I’m a Little Seed (Language, Music)
Birdseed Playdough (Sensory, Creative)
Literary Favorites (Language & Literacy)
Class Garden (Science, Social)
Snack Time (Science)
And likely more….We’ll see how long we can keep a good thing going! And if you have any ideas for the next topic to explore, I’d love to hear them!
Updated Spring 2010:
*Photo by nkzs.