Planting Seeds Theme for Preschool
There are so many seeds and items to grow in the classroom! This Planting Seeds Theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.
Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Holding Seeds Art
Materials Needed: paper, crayon, scissors, tissue paper or seeds, glue
The children trace their hands and cut out.
They then glue rolled up pieces of tissue paper or actual seeds into their "hands". This is a follow up to The Tiny Seed story.
Materials Needed: Clear contact paper, marker, seeds
Draw flowers on the clear contact. Let the children draw their own flowers!
Remove the backing. Children they use seeds to decorate the flowers.
Extension: Let the children create their own art work by placing the seeds where they want for a very creative design! They can place them on the contact paper or glue them onto paper!
Pear Flower Blossoms
This is a great follow up to reading the Circle Time activity about pears (see circle time ideas below).
Materials Needed: Real pear tree blossoms or other flowering fruit blossoms (artifical flowers are fine, too!).
Use the branches and blossoms to paint with. Show the children how to gently dip the flowers into the paint and "print" with them, like stamping.
Moving What Grows
Materials: Provide hollow blocks (or other blocks) and small, plastic wheelbarrows for the children to move their plants (blocks) to the shelves. Explain what wheelbarrows are used for during planting or gardening.
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
One Little Daffodil
In advance, make 5 daffodils from paper, laminate and place velcro or a piece of a dryer sheet on the back so that it sticks on your flannel board.
Teach this fingerplay to the children while using the flannel board pieces:
One little daffodil had nothing to do
Up popped another one and then there were two.
Two little daffodils smiling at a bee
Another popped up and then there were three
Three little daffodils were growing by a door
Up popped another one and then there were four.
Four little daffodils happy to be alive
Up popped another one and then there were five.
Five little daffodils wearing golden crowns
They danced in the breeze wearing green satin gowns!
EXTENSION: Pause before saying each number for the children to have time to count and recall the next number. Ex: then there were........right! 3!
EXTENSION: Bring actual daffodils to school and place them in your science area. The children can explore them while recalling this poem!
The Carrot Seed
Materials: In advance, make flannel pieces to go along with this book. You'll need a little boy, mother, father, brother, a tiny seed, a carrot top, a wheelbarrow a watering can and a huge carrot.
Use these materials while telling the story.
VARIATION: Give each child one flannel piece to add to the board as you read it. You may need to read the story twice this day so that each child has a turn!
Pears and Blossoms
Materials Needed: the book From Seed to Pear and a large pear!
Cut the pear down the middle lengthwise and show the children the seeds. Let them feel the seeds and talk about planting them, how long it takes seeds to grow, etc.
Read the story, pointing out that the white flowers turn into little hard pears then ripe juicy ones!
Follow up with the Pear Flower Blossom art activity listed above in the Art Activities section.
Once Upon A Time....
Write a cooperative story. After discussing what seeds need to grow, start a story with them. Tell them they are going to help make up a story about a seed!
Start with "Once upon a time, some preschool children wanted to begin planting seeds. One day, Maria ________(fill in the blank from this child). Then, Cheryl thought she should ___________, etc. If the children seem to get off track, that will happen! However, give reminders as needed such as:
"So, our seed was dug up by the turtle and the bird took the turtle and the seed in the air. What happened next?" Then go on to ask the next child.
These stories are SO much fun to read back to them each day! And to photo copy and send home with them for their families to enjoy!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific theme related questions while making these fun snacks!
Carrot and Raisin Salad
Ingredients and Items needed: Carrots (one per child) and raising; vegetable peelers, bowls (one for each child)
Discuss planting seeds- especially carrot seeds! Show them some carrot seeds.
Have the children help you to wash off the carrots.
Show them how to use the vegetable peelers.
Each child helps add to the pile of carrot peelings.
Place them into a bowl.
The children each scoop a teaspoon of raisins into the bowl.
Mix and enjoy!
If you have read From Seed to Pear for this planting seeds theme, have a pear tasting party!
Ingredients and Items Needed: Yellow and green pears, knife, chart for recording the children's likes/dislikes.
For the chart, draw 3 columns. Draw a picture of the yellow pear on top of the second column and a picture of the green pear on the top of the third column.
List each child's name in the first column.
As each child tries a piece of each pear, write the words yes or now under each pear based on if they liked it or not.
These charts can be set up in many ways. You could also write each child's name on two pieces of paper. On the chart, the children place their name under the pear only if they like it.
Provide hats, gardening gloves, aprons and plastic planting tools (such as pails, shovels, hoes, watering cans); artifical grass and moss; bandanas; overalls to dress up in, for the children to plant in dramatic play!
Paint While Planting Seeds!
Materials Needed: Mix some small seeds (like marigold or other small and thin seeds) into the paint for a different texture!
Seed, Seed, GROW!
Do your children like the Duck, Duck, Goose game? Replace the words with Seed, Seed, Grow to compliment your theme!
The Carrot Seed
Materials: The book The Carrot Seed by Ruth Kraus.
After reading the book, have the children help act out the story. 4 children will act it out and the rest of the children will be the audience.
Choose 4 children to act it out-one is the little boy, one is the mother, one is the father and one is the big brother.
Explain to the audience that their job is to repeat the line "I'm afraid it won't come up."
Repeat until all the children have had a turn being in this reenactment!
Book Suggestions for the Library
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Dinofours: My Seeds Won't Grow by Steve Metzger
From Seed to Pear by Ali Mitgutsch
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
I Really Wonder What Plant I'm Growing by Lauren Child
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehhlert
Sunflower House by Even Bunting
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Materials: several bowls and different packets of seeds.
Let the children combine, sort and separate seeds. This is a great time for them to use their fine motor skills, of course, but also to get to know HOW flowers and plants begin!
Weighing and Measuring
Materials: balance scale; a variety of seeds (such as seed corn, bean seeds, pea seed, sunflowerseeds) in small plastic containers with covers, measuring cups and spoons
Let children explore the seeds. Show them how to use the balance scale (this might be a great circle time activity- use your circle time to introduce this tool).
Ask questions to get them started such as: Are the larger seeds heavier or lighter? How many seeds does it take to make one side of the scale heavier?
Materials Needed: Save the seed packets that you used for the seed activities in this unit.
Laminate them (be sure to have 2 of each type).
Place them out for the children to match. Use as a memory or concentration type game as well!
Here We GROW
Have the children squat down and pretend they are little seeds. Play some calming music. As you turn the volume up slowly on the CD player, describe what is happening to "them"--the seeds. They should try to act this out!
The seeds are in the ground nice and warm.
It is raining and they are getting a drink.
The sun is warming them and help them grow!
The seed is opening and roots are coming out!
It is raining again! There's the sun! Oooh, the plants are coming out of the ground!
Planting Seeds Song
Sung to Farmer in the Dell
Act this song out with each verse:
The gardener plants the seeds, the gardener plants the seeds.
Hi-ho the derry-o, the farmer plants the seeds.
Additional verses could be (or make up some of your own to go along with specific seeds you are planting):
The rain starts to fall........
The sun begins to shine...........
The plants begin to grow.......
The flowers open up.............
In advance, place seeds into plastic easter eggs. Use these as maracas to dance with!
EXTENSION: If you make eggs using different seeds, try making 2 eggs with each seed. Place the eggs in your science are to see if the children can guess which ones have the same seeds based on the sound (sunflower seeds will be much louder than marigold seeds!)
Potting Soil and Seeds
Add potting soil and lots of seeds to your sensory table for your students to explore. At the end of the week, transfer the soil and seed mix to another bin and water.
Place this in your science table for your children to care for and watch the seeds grow!
Place soil and several (9 or 10) small potatoes under the soild. Provide plastic buckets, trowels and shovels. Let the children know that potatoes grow underground like carrots.
Planting Bean Seeds
Materials: ziplock baggies, paper towels, spray water bottle, lima beans, markers.
Children spray their paper towels with water.
They place 3 lima beans in the middle of their paper towel.
Help them to fold the paper towel over the beans.
They place that into a ziplock baggie.
Write their name with marker on the outside of the baggie.
Tape baggies to a sunny window and watch them for a week or two until they sprout!
NOTE: Once you open the baggies, they will smell terrible! Be prepared!
Plant a Sweet Potato
Ok, so this is not a seed but it is planting! Insert toothpicks into the sides so that you can balance it on the top of a cup. Fill the cup with water so that the half the potato is in the water. Check often for roots!
Bring in flowers that have seeds for the children to investigate such as sunflowers and dandelions. Let them take them apart to find the seeds. Then, try planing the seeds!
Clear Glass Planter
One year we had a Root-Vue grower. It had a styrofoam based and clear plexiglass cover. The idea was that the cihldren could see the seeds grow and form roots (especially for carrot seeds!). You can make your own!
Use a small, five gallon glass fish tank (ask parents if they have one to donate, many people do in their basements!).
Fill about 3/4 of the way with potting soil.
Have the children help you to make holes in the soil about half way down (we used a pencil or straw). The key is to push the hole down right against the glass.
Drop seeds in the holes and lightly fill in the holes.
Do this all the way around the tank.
When done, also plant seeds in the middle of the tank, but not as deeply).
Water the soil as needed and the children will, over time, see the process of the seed growing its roots as well as the plants in the middle popping through.
How do Roots Work?
Although this is an experiment that you may be bored with, remember that your children have never seen it before!
Materials: Celery stalks (preferably ones with greens on the tops), two tall, clear glasses of water; food coloring
Place a different color of food coloring in each cup of water.
Place one celery stalk in each cup, with the greens at the top.
Watch and discuss daily.
The children learn how root systems "drink" water from the bottom and bring it to the top.
NOTE: We used blue and red food coloring. The interesting thing was that after a couple of weeks, the blue one still looked blue and ok, but the red one actually began wilting and turning brown...I guess there is something to that whole fear of red dye...it was proven to us with this experiment!
Provide the children with a piece of white construction paper and a white crayon. Encourage them to draw different sized seeds and what their seeds will grow.
Have the children paint over their picture with watered down brown tempura paint. It will not stick to their crayon drawings.
VARIATION: Have the children print their name or other letters you may be working on with them. If the white on white is too frustrating for them, provide a color they can see to use on the white paper. It will still amaze the kids that the paint won't stick to their letters!
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