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Getting kids outside for garden activities makes learning fun. The garden is full of teachable things and adding pre-planned activities helps kids learn even more. There is no place I can think of that has more to offer kids than the garden.
If you don’t know how to grow food, these videos can help you learn the basic 101 of gardening. Check them out.
Preschool garden activities
We grow a lot of our own food in the summer. The kids plant everything in our 50+ raised beds and containers. They harvest most of it as well. We do a lot of the weeding and maintenance, but they help with those chores too.
While we are spending time in the garden, we also do gardening projects, crafts and art as well. For example, we have grown our own wheat and ground it into bread. In addition, we grew our own cotton and spun it into yarn. We also planted bean seeds and did these Jack and the Beanstalk finger puppets.
We have studied butterfly life cycles and learned about metamorphosis too. We plant things that attract adult butterflies to lay their eggs. Then we collect them and observe them. Since we have the host plant, we can feed the caterpillars that hatch.
For a printable lapbook to teach kids about the life cycle of plants, check this out.
We have painted rocks for our garden and other decorations too.
✔Here’s a link to a great vegetable garden planner you can print right out and use at home! So cute!
In addition, we grow our own luffa sponges. Luffas are a sponge that grows on a vine. In fact, it’s actually a gourd. We grow the vines every year and harvest the luffas to use. You can bathe with them, make soap with them, use them to wash dishes or your car. There are a ton of uses.
Also, we grow birdhouse gourds. We harvest and dry them and then make them into birdhouses. The kids can decorate them too.
Check out this super fun garden bingo game for kids!
Our preschool garden is planted and tended by kids ages 1-4. No one is too young to enjoy the garden. I don’t keep kids under 1 year, but even infants can have wonderful sensory experiences in the garden.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, sometimes the lessons learned in the garden are hard. Sometimes the kids don’t listen. Sometimes things die or get stepped on. But there is so much to learn even in that. So, don’t think disaster will prevent you from having garden success and learning.
There is a ton of science besides just life cycles that can be taught with garden activities for kids. Even learning how much water your garden needs is a great learning experience. We use old tuna cans to measure for water needs in the garden.
We also learn a ton of math in the garden. Seed depths, numbers of seeds, sorting seeds, saving seeds, measuring how tall an okra plant or sunflower are is super fun as well. The learning goes on and on. Click here to see more about what kids can learn in the garden.
Fun garden activities
You can grow vegetable soup, like the book. Plant the things you’d like in your soup and at harvest time, make the soup.
Making an egg head. Take an empty eggshell and fill it with soil. Sprinkle a few grass seeds on top and water in. You can draw a face on the egg and water it well. Place all the eggs on the window sill in an egg carton and watch them sprout. You can even give them haircuts and the grass will grow back.
We made these layers of soil dioramas that we were able to eat. The kids loved stirring 3 drops of green into the coconut and smashing up the oreos. I made homemade pudding like the recipe that goes in this pie for the subsoil and the bedrock is different sized chocolate chips.
Here’s a link to a free printable pdf of the layers if you’d like to use it.
Grow a pumpkin in a pumpkin. Take a pumpkin and cut the top out like you would to make a jack o lantern. Leave all the goop inside. Fill it with soil and water it well. The seeds inside the pumpkin will sprout and grow pumpkin vines. It helps the kids to understand that the seeds you take out are how you grow more pumpkins. Click here to see how to roast pumpkin seeds and make pumpkin stamps too.
Making leaf glitter in the garden. In the fall you can use dried leaves of different colors to make glitter. When the leaves are dry and crunchy, crunch them up into really small pieces. Put glue on your paper and sprinkle the “glitter” on just like you would any other glitter and dust the excess off. It’s really cute.
More garden activities
- DIY Miniature Dinosaur Garden
- Fairy Garden
- Wheelbarrow Herb Garden
- Parts of a Flower Learning Center
- Counting with Acorns
- Lavender Cutting for Preschoolers
- Mini Books and Garden Journals
- Sensory Soup
- Garden Scavenger Hunt
- Secrets of the Garden Food Chain Activity
- Code a Message in Dance: Dance Like a Bee
- How Fast Does a Plant Grow?
- Fruit Activity for the Mud Kitchen
- Gardening for Math
- Pollinator Garden
- Hydroponic Gardening with Kids: Bean Space Garden
- Get to Know Your Garden Birds
- Ladybird Life Cycle
- Repurpose Dryer Lint for Gardening
Check out this printable garden journal for kids from Mama on the Homestead. So cute!
For garden activities for toddlers, check these out.