A Note For Educators
This is a compilation of activities to support young children in playful learning about plants. I prepared this activities resource list for families in my nursery school class of two- and three-year-olds during the COVID-19 pandemic. My goal is to provide parents with optional, developmentally appropriate activities to do at home if they are seeking out ideas.
As the teacher, do frame these ‘suggested activities’ in proper context for the families you serve. I am being clear with parents that this is not their “homework assignment”, and it is totally fine for them to do their own open-ended play without this degree of topical focus. See my earlier post about the value of connection with the children and families we usually guide and teach each day when our programs are open.
Learning About Plants Activities
There are many ways to provide children with learning opportunities about plants. Here are the key concepts we teach young children about plants:
- Plants start as seeds, and grow into plants.
- Plants need food (from soil), light, water, and air.
- Parts and functions of a plant: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit/vegetables.
We learn about plants in many ways at preschool. Here are examples of activities we do at school, to give you options for activities you may want to try at home.
Parents, please do not feel that this is an assignment; you may skip it all and simply play and connect with your child.
Observing and growing plants
- Noticing plants in the yard or on a walk
- Planting seeds
Art with and about plants and flowers
- Make flowers with paper, paint, or collage materials;
- Use flowers or leaves to paint with.
Exploring plants with our senses
- Provide opportunities to safely see, touch, and smell plants and flowers, and taste fruits/vegetables;
- Sensory exploration of soil.
Learning songs and rhymes about plants
Reading stories about plants
- 12 Books about Seeds
- Watch the story: Planting a Rainbow (scroll down to day 2, plants)
- Read the digital book: It Could Still Be a Flower (scroll down to day 2, plants)
Additionally, here are a few videos of plants growing
- Bean time-lapse: https://youtu.be/w77zPAtVTuI
- Sunflower time-lapse: https://youtu.be/Z-iPp6yn0hw