The garden is a great place to bring the kids. See the activities below for some ideas of how to engage your kids in the garden.
Garden Activities for Spring/Summer/Fall
- Sample from Communal Herb Circle – class can smell different scents, taste (provided no allergies), and see the variety of shapes/patterns in each plant. (see more related activities below).
- Rock collecting and painting (need to cover tables with newspaper). Class needs to provide the paint. Perhaps they can let the rocks dry then put them in the kids area in the grass near the upright rock. This can become our “rock garden”
- Butterfly release
- Play in the Kids Dig Box (and look for worms)
- Learn to compost by practicing collecting veggie scraps prior to class trip, then put in the compost can during their trip to the garden.
- If a class has a mortar and pestle, perhaps the class can make a pesto type sauce from the herbs they collect from the herb circle, adding olive oil and a little bit of parmesan cheese. (This would work well for basil. Perhaps for other herbs too.) The children can take turns mashing it, a good bilateral integration activity if they hold the mixing tool with the non-dominant hand as they mash it. Also takes strength to mash it. Then, they have a sauce they can possibly dip their food in for tasting. Good turn-taking activity too. The odor will be stronger as well so a good olfactory activity. This will likely be a new scent for most of them.
- Perhaps each class can get a cutting from the herb circle and see if it grows roots in the windowsill?
- Each child in a class can sample a different herb in a circle type formation. They can rotate seeing, holding, and smelling the varied herbs during circle time. This helps with turn taking and sharing but also with the opportunity to differentiate between plants and leaves. It is an opportunity to spell as well. Can be downgraded to the first letter of each herb being introduced for lower functioning classes.
- Class can bring pictures of flowers that they can color in then try to find them in the garden. Perhaps they can try to match the color of the flowers that they see to the picture they are coloring in.
- The children can learn to identify different plants in people’s boxes. They are welcome to look at them but not touch because they boxes belong to other people. This is an opportunity to learn to follow directions and be respectful of other people’s things.
- The class can review the weed list and try to locate different weeds as opposed to vegetables. What are the differences? What makes them look the same?
- Perhaps the class can ask to receive some seeds from plants in the garden and children can bring them home in an envelope with instructions how to sprout / grow them at home.
- The class can learn to identify the variety of trees in the garden. What is a fruit tree? What is not.
- The class can practice bird watching – learn to identify a variety of species of birds that they see.
- What plants survive the winter and why?
- Compost practice.
*Provided the garden is safe for visitors.
Print out the Pictures and Explore the Garden!