Children and gardens often seem to be a natural match. The mysteries of watching a seed turn into a plant, and then seeing flowers or vegetables appear from seemingly nowhere can pique a child's interest in learning about nature. Children gain a first-hand understanding of gardening basics by helping to plant seeds. By turning this process into a game, children can also develop fundamental learning skills. A simple sorting and counting game works well with 2- to 5-year-olds.
Items you will need
- Variety of seeds
- Popsicle stick
Mix the seeds together in a bowl.
Spread the seeds out on a flat surface and ask the child to help you sort them into separate piles based upon appearance. Focus on size, shape and color.
Teach the child the names for each type of seed while sorting.
Count the individual seeds with the child after you sort them. A 2-year-old may be able to count to 10, while a 5-year-old may count past 100.
Carry the seeds to the garden and show the child how each one has to go into a hole. Explain that each group of seeds has its own separate garden area and that is why you had the child help you sort them.
Ask the child to help determine how many holes you need to match the correct number of seeds for each type of plant.
Make holes in the soil with a Popsicle stick. Count each hole with the child as you make it and have her tell you when to stop. Explain the correlation between the number of holes and the number of seeds.
Note the number of seeds planted in each area. When the plants come up, explain how the number of plants relates to the amount of seeds.
Tips & Warnings
- Use seeds that are easily distinguishable, such as beans, peppers. squash and lettuce. Beans can even look identical, but have different colors for additional sorting.
- Consider the age and attention span of the child when determining the number of seeds to sort and plant.
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