Monday, May 4, 2015

Letter S is for Seeds. Introduction to Plants and Gardening for Preschoolers.

Our Little Greenhouse Preschool Activities

Our letter of the week - S is for Seeds - was lots of joy of discovering and observing a new life right in front of our eyes! The goal was to explore the process of plants growing from seeds, parts of a plant, and the importance of sunlight and water for plants.  This post is a part of our "Creative ABCs" series found here: Creative ABCs.


Letter S is for Seeds. Growing Seeds in a Bag.

"The Little Red Hen" by Diane Muldrow is one of our favorite Farm Animals books. Find our Top 10 list and book inspired activities here: Farm Animals Preschool Activities and Books.
Amazon affiliate link: The Tiny Seed (The World of Eric Carle) This book and its wonderful illustrations help to uncover the miracle of a seed.

Pictured below, the plants in a quick DIY greenhouse are 10 days old. Kids were fascinated while watching the tiny sprouts appear from seeds and growing bigger every day.

This activity is all about playing and discovering the plants. We did not decorate the greenhouse - the kids' attention was on the bag so they were not interested in drawing/ coloring. We didn't fix it to the window or any permanent structure. The kids enjoyed carrying their plants around observing and comparing the greenhouses! The greenhouse proved to be pretty sturdy and withstood some heavy playing.

 

DIY Greenhouse for Preschoolers. Introduction to Plants and Gardening.

Supplies we used: seeds (we happened to have beans, cantaloupe, spinach, and pumpkin), zip lock bag, paper towel, construction paper, tape.

  • Place the paper towel on a tray, add water with the dropper until the paper is all wet. Explain that seeds need lots of water to grow into plants.
  • Sensory exploration of the seeds. We picked seeds straight out of the cantaloupe - our 3 year olds loved that experience! Beans looked familiar - explain that they can grow a new plant with more beans. We observed a picture on a package of spinach seeds and pulled out smaller seeds, compared the sizes.
  • Place the seeds onto the paper towel. Review that a wet towel has all the water needed for the seeds growth, the types of seeds and where they came from.
  • Place the paper towel into the bag. Add more water to keep the towel very wet if needed.
  • Tape closed bag onto the construction paper. Place in the dark space until notice the new sprouts coming (2 days for us). Then place the greenhouse in the sun light. Review that the sun light is very important for the plants.
  • Observe your sprouts growing.
Pictured below, the plants are fresh out of the bag (day 10).


Seek and Find the Seeds with a Magnifying Glass

Aw, the happy moment of seeing the seeds up close! My Firefly looked, and touched, and smelled. The plants lifted right up when out of the bag.

I asked My Firefly to find the seeds with the magnifying glass. It was confusing for her at first as the experience is all new for her. Some seeds stayed on paper, while the others got into the air stuck on top of the leaves.


I can highly recommend this magnifying glass! My Firefly loves it and usually keeps it in her tricycle for the outdoor explorations and playing. The glass went through some rough playing and is still in a great condition. Amazon affiliate link: Single Learning Resources Jumbo Magnifying Glass for Kids (One Magnifying Glass of Random Color Per Order)

Explore Parts of a Plant Using a Cell Phone Camera as a Microscope

That was an awesome exploration! My Firefly, a huge fan of technology, was double motivated to explore the parts of a plant under a "microscope". She found roots, stem, leaves, and seeds for different plants. I helped her by touching the plant with a tip of a pencil. She touched the parts with her fingers. We discussed the colors and sizes in a process too. Unfortunately, our plants were well played with and didn't get planted into the ground.


Little gardeners loved learning about plants. Our gardening exploration will continue, but this introduction to seeds and plants sparked lots of interest and understanding of living plants.

Visit our "Creative ABCs" series for more letter of the week fun and learning: Creative ABCs.

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