The plant is a fantastic topic when it comes to preschool education as it is one of the most familiar things surrounding a kid in its young life.
Why plant activities?
Kids naturally enjoy interacting with soils, rocks, seeds, water, flowers and fruits. Besides, plant terminologies are easy and suitable for a kindergarten student to comprehend and its visualization cost is rather cheap.
We could all agree that the plant tops the list of should-have interaction themes from kids. However, not many people, parents and teacher included, know that we have way more methods to facilitate the plant learning process of kids than just planting and repeating. In this article, we would like to introduce two basic and fun plant activities that match the needs of preschool students.
Planting with Kids
The most basic plant activities for preschool students is to raise them. Gardening is a stunning experience for both adults and children. Getting hands-on, exploring about components, living cycle, and benefits of various plant types are never boring ways, especially for kids to feel and observe their surrounding worlds.
To prepare for this simple activity, we need to get these following things ready:
- Seeds: if possible, let choose flower seeds, the easily-to-grow types, so that kids could watch and feel their results in a quicker manner.
- Plastic cups: places to plant the seeds. Let pick the clear ones so students could observe the growing process. One more thing to keep in mind is that the cup sizes should match that of the seeds, do not pick oversized or undersized as either would delay the growing process.
- Knife: to make holes in the cup bottoms so that we could manage the water volume in and out of the potting place.
- Egg carton: to put the planting cups on. This will help absorb the excess water (if any)
The way we do it
- Guiding the kids to Fill plastic cups with the potting mix; Clean the seeds pods and then placed them in prepared planting.
- Please make sure that your provided guidelines are as simple as possible, which would make your kids enjoy and be engaged in the activity to the best.
- Request your students to watch the growing progress and share their thoughts out loud daily. Remember to appreciate their thoughts and encourage them to watch closer to details that you spot missing out of their sharing.
Learning plant components
Do you know that we actually do not have to fill out hands with soils and waters but still be able to teach preschool students about plants? Yes, we could still have planting fun and enjoy dynamic plant knowledge through the activity of plant components labeling and writing.
- 02 houseplants, should not look alike
- 02 types of seeds, if possible, let choose big and noticeable types to ease kid observations
- Pictures of plants and their components in top quality
- Vocabulary cards: introduce these plant-related terms like a seed, planting cups, stem and leaf and verb terms such as a watch, contrast, test, compare and describe.
The way we do it
Introduce Plants and Seeds: Tell children your plants about exploring plants a certain period
- Show your kids the household familiar plants and request them to tell or share their knowledge about these plants (if any). Sample questions: What is the similarity among these? List out the differences? Describe your home houseplants if any?
- Present them the prepared seeds and facilitate discussions with relevant questions. Sample questions: What do you think would happen if we planted these seeds? Where do you think these come from?
- Equip each child with a planting cup. Sample questions: What things do you notice? Do you know the role of these planting cups? What do you think these are? What is inside the planting cups?
- Suggest your children open the planting cups, take a close look at the way that seeds are planted or lined, and figure out how the method that these seeds attached to the planting cups.
- Encourage the kids to count seeds in their assigned cups. Share that these objects are also seeds.
- Invite your children to try a taste with the provided seeds. Share that there are some seeds, like peas, could be able to eat while others might not. Make them remember to ask for adults’ permission before tasting a seed.
Picking cards and matching: This is a fun “write and match” interaction if you would like to see \your children getting up and moving!
- First, position a random number of cards on surrounding walls, or anywhere that could hang these objects. Then, introduce your children that they need to “go hunting” for these cards and record their results on prepared worksheets using pens or clipboards.
- Add the theme of “Name It!” to your writing boards. Details: first, picking up a name card that shows a random part of a particular plant. You could be even more creative by assigning some definitions related to a plant surviving and growing environment. Second, the kids now could join each other in the hunting game to match pictures with their correct name cards. Last, let them write the matched word in a box placing near the board.
- Continuously build up your class vocabulary by adding new words constantly.
Generate discussions about if all plants are the same, or if they are different. It also encouraged kids to share about plants using recently learned new vocabulary words.
Reflect, Share and Conclusion: Make your children compare between provided dry and fresh peas based on their own looks and feelings. Sample questions:
- What differences could be noticed between these different types of beans? And vice versa, which similarities could be pointed out?
- Have you ever seen other types of seeds before? Could you describe them in brief?
- Later, during free exploration time, show children the seeds you have displayed in the Seed Museum learning center. Have them added the dry beans to the Museum.
- As we watch and wait to see more of our plants, we have been learning more about the parts and structure of plants so we can understand more about what they need and how to care for them.
Kids love learning about life cycles and studying plants. Therefore, plant activities are always a highlight in any preschool classroom. Remember to always lookout for new ways to get your students engaged more in these creative planting science and life cycle knowledge. And do not forget to make it fun and enjoyable as well.