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While I may be a fall person through and through, spring is pretty great too! The days are getting longer, the temperature is getting warmer, and the plants and flowers are beginning to bloom. I look forward to this time of year, just to see the expressions on my children’s faces as they see the world around them transform from the cold dark winter, into a beautiful, blooming oasis.
Gardening has easily become one of favorite themes to teach my children. If you follow me, you know that I love pairing my activities with books. There are so, so many wonderful books about gardens.
A few of our favorites are the following:
There are truly so many amazing gardening books, I wish we had more!
Besides planting in our own garden, we have been enjoying creating garden themed crafts, pretend play, snacktivities, sensory play, and activities. Here is a list of 10, kid approved activities to do when learning all about gardens!
1.) Transform a pretend market into a garden shop using our printables.
2.) Recreate the lifecycle of a seed, by transforming your driveway into an obstacle course using sidewalk chalk, rocks, sticks, and a ball. The goal of the course was to follow the seed (represented by rocks) on its journey to becoming a flower.
3.) Create mushrooms in the garden “snacktivity”. This super simple, fun dessert is made out of chocolate pudding, gummy worms, marshmallow, strawberries, and icing. To make the “mushrooms” all I did was cut the strawberries, and decorate with vanilla icing dots, to look like mushrooms. Then, I placed them on top of a marshmallow. (I cut the bottom of the marshmallow to make it a little stickier)
4.) Adapt to your child's skill level/needs with an interchangeable sorting sensory activity. Set up your bin with a “dirt” base, we used Dirt in a Bucket by Play Visions. It is great for indoor play since it’s easy to mold and easy to clean up! Print/create different colored flowers and connect them to popsicle sticks. (This is the adaptable part). Create a base for the flowers out of an egg carton and color them to match the flowers. I colored them using Kwik Stix Tempera Paint Sticks for quick application and quick drying! The color sort and posting activity was designed for my 20 month old. The trick to this being adaptable is laminating the flowers! When you laminate them, you can write anything you want on them using dry erase markers. My 5 year old son practiced skip counting and number sequence!
5.) Go on a garden scavenger hunt! My “In the Garden Scavenger Hunt” is part of my Garden Shop packet. My son has so much fun doing scavenger hunts on our nature walks.
6.) Rescue the flowers, in a melt the ice stem activity. I froze some of my Mothers Day flowers in these adorable silicone molds, and my children scooped sand using these scoops and poured warm water onto the ice, to rescue the flowers, and melt the ice.
7.) Create a sensory bin out of real garden soil in a mud kitchen and “plant” pretend seeds.
8.) Sort vegetables and fruit into the correct basket with this free printable!
9.) Cut and paste the correct labels onto the parts of the flower, with this free printable!
10.) Create dimensional artwork using tissue paper, construction paper, and adhesive (we used contact paper).
Most importantly, if you can, have fun planting some real plants in a garden or a pot with your kids!