a child watering a pot

19 Garden Activities for Preschoolers

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Gardening with kids is not just a hobby; it’s a delightful journey of discovery and learning, especially for preschoolers. Engaging children in garden activities for preschoolers fosters a profound connection with nature, teaches them valuable life skills, and encourages healthy habits.

garden activities for preschoolers

Vegetable Garden Activities for Preschoolers

There are so many great activities that you can do in the garden with kids. Preschoolers can learn so much from the natural world and there are tons of sensory experiences in the garden. It’s a perfect classroom and a great experience. Planting a garden with kids is a great idea when running a home daycare!

a preschooler's hand holding seeds
  • Planting Seeds of Wonder-Begin with the basics by teaching preschoolers how plants grow from seeds. Provide them with a variety of seeds, from sunflowers to beans, and let them explore the different shapes, sizes, and textures. Try using larger seeds with younger kids so they can pick them up such as squash, gourds, sunflowers, beans, and corn.
  • Create a simple seed-planting activity where children can fill small pots with soil, plant seeds, and gently water them. This hands-on experience instills a sense of responsibility and nurtures patience as they eagerly await the first signs of sprouting.
  • Exploring the Magic of Soil-Dive into the world beneath our feet by introducing preschoolers to the wonders of soil. Set up a sensory station with bins of soil, rocks, and worms, allowing children to dig, sift, and discover hidden treasures.
  • Learn to Compost-Encourage discussions about the importance of soil for plant growth and demonstrate how to create nutrient-rich compost from kitchen scraps. This interactive learning experience fosters an understanding of environmental stewardship and the concept of recycling.
  • Worm Composting-Kids can even learn to compost kitchen scraps with a worm farm.
  • Blooming Budding Botanists-Transform preschoolers into budding botanists by teaching them to identify common plants and flowers. Take nature walks around the garden or local park, pointing out different species and their unique characteristics. Provide magnifying glasses and illustrated plant guides to encourage observational skills and ignite a sense of wonder at the intricate beauty of nature. Engage children in simple drawing or journaling activities to document their botanical discoveries.
  • Pollinator Party-Celebrate the vital role of pollinators in the garden ecosystem with a pollinator-themed activity. Set up a butterfly garden with colorful flowers such as lavender and marigolds to attract butterflies and bees. Teach preschoolers about the pollination process through interactive games and storytelling. Let them role-play as busy bees transferring pollen from flower to flower, reinforcing the concept of symbiotic relationships in nature.
  • Tasty Garden Treasures-Explore the delicious rewards of gardening by incorporating edible plants into the preschool garden. Plant easy-to-grow vegetables like cherry tomatoes, carrots, and lettuce, allowing children to witness the magic of seed to plate.
  • Cook the Garden-Organize fun cooking activities using freshly harvested produce, such as making vegetable pizzas or fruit kebabs. This hands-on culinary experience promotes healthy eating habits and empowers children to appreciate the flavors of homegrown food.
  • Sensory Garden-Engage all five senses with a sensory garden designed to delight and stimulate young minds. Plant fragrant herbs like mint and lavender for aromatic exploration and soft, fuzzy plants like lamb’s ear for tactile sensation. Incorporate wind chimes, bird feeders, and bubbling fountains to enhance auditory experiences, inviting preschoolers to listen to the soothing sounds of nature. Encourage taste testing of edible flowers like nasturtiums or herbs, introducing new flavors and textures.
  • Bug Hunting-Explore the garden for insects and teach kids about the different types they find. Discuss which bugs are beneficial to the garden and which ones may be harmful.
  • Nature Scavenger Hunt-Make a list of items commonly found in the garden such as leaves, flowers, rocks, and insects, and send kids on a scavenger hunt to find them.

Check out this printable garden journal for kids from Mama on the Homestead. So cute!

kids gardening journal mock up
preschooler in the garden looking at flowers

Outdoor Garden Activities for Preschoolers

  • Garden Art-Unleash preschoolers’ creativity with garden art projects that merge nature and imagination. Provide materials like colorful stones, shells, and twigs, inviting children to create sculptures, mandalas, or fairy houses. Foster eco-consciousness by repurposing recycled materials into whimsical garden decorations, such as bottle cap wind chimes or plastic bottle planters. Encourage collaborative art projects that promote teamwork and self-expression.
  • Garden Storytime-Cultivate a love for literature and nature through garden-themed storytelling sessions. Create a cozy outdoor reading nook surrounded by blooming flowers and shady trees, where children can immerse themselves in tales of gardens, bugs, and adventures in the great outdoors. Pair storytime with related garden activities, such as reenacting scenes from favorite books or crafting story-inspired art projects. Encourage preschoolers to express their thoughts and emotions about the stories they hear, fostering language development and creativity.
  • Garden Yoga-Get your exercise on in the garden. Bring out the yoga mats or just have a dance party among your flowers or veggies for a really good time.
  • Create a Garden Journal-Encourage kids to keep a journal where they can document the growth of their plants, draw pictures, and write about their gardening experiences.
  • Building a Bug Hotel-Help kids create a habitat for beneficial insects by building a bug hotel using materials like sticks, pine cones, and hollow bamboo.
  • Decorating Garden Stones-Provide kids with paint and let them decorate garden stones to add a personalized touch to the garden.
  • Making Bird Feeders-Create simple bird feeders using recycled materials like pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Hang them in the garden and observe the birds that visit.
  • Garden Picnic-Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal outdoors surrounded by the beauty of the garden.

Check out this super fun garden bingo game for kids!

garden bingo game mockup

Gardening offers preschoolers a myriad of opportunities for exploration, discovery, and hands-on learning. By engaging in garden activities tailored to their interests and developmental stages, children not only cultivate green thumbs but also nurture a deeper connection with the natural world.

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