How does your garden grow?
This is a wonderfully engaging activity to study the life cycle of a plant. We first did this lesson with my eldest in October 2017 and revised it verbally in the 2019 #mindfulinmarch challenge guide. Now that it's spring we have done our revised version with photos to share.
There are three options for this lesson, each providing a creative, sensory experience.
-The first where the child can create their own flowers, sprouts and seeds with different mediums such as paint, pastels, crayons, pencils and even clay. If you choose this version, I recommend mixing it up with a combination to provide a beautiful varied look to the final result and to create them on thick cardboard so they stand.
-The second where the child can use real seeds, leaves and flowers. We glued some of our Dried Sun Flowers onto sticks as well. Dried/fallen leaves can act as sprouts.
-The third with a combination of the two.
- Flowers - Dried, fresh or created.
- Growing plant - Representing your sprouting plant you can use dried/fallen leaves or created sprouts.
- Seeds - You can use real seeds or create some with clay.
- Dirt - Make some playdough for your soil, using cacao powder or cinnamon for colour (and a delightful fragrance).
Involve your child in creating or collecting as many of the components as they can.
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 cups boiling water
3 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup ground cinnamon
- Combine flour, salt, cream of tartar, cinnamon and cocoa powder.
- Add oil and boiling water, combining to form a dough.
- Knead until smooth.
- Place the components out with a woodslice or board at the front for the child to create their garden on. Ask them to spread some 'dirt' play dough over their board to create their garden base.
- Next ask what order they think the components go in, this is a great time to discuss the life cycle or read a storybook on the subject, during the process and play.
Book recommendations to pair with the lesson
- A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
- Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman