Gardening is often one of the “greatest hits” of kindergarten. There's something irresistible about combining curious kids with a pile of dirt and a bunch of trowels…and then watching seeds sprout and grow. As they work, kids often get a chance to see different kinds of seeds, but it can be hard to remember which ones end up becoming what. Here's a “full plate” activity that lets your kid connect seeds with grown plants while practicing reading and writing skills, too. And even better: when the plate is complete, your family will have a handy chart to refer to, season after season!
What You Need:
- Plain white paper plate
- Tacky Glue
- 8 kinds of seeds—we particularly like marigold, bean, pea, sunflower, apple, watermelon, radish, Swiss chard, and spinach, but there's really no end to the possibilities
What You Do:
- Start by using your ruler to draw a firm black line across the diameter of your plate four times, so that you divide it first into halves, then into quarters, and then into eighths.
- In each segment, invite your child to place a seed she likes, and glue it down near the bottom of the slice, close to the plate's center. Right above the seed, help her draw a small picture of what the vegetable or flower looks like when the seed has grown.
- Then, around the outside edge, help your child write (or dictate so that you can write) the name of the plant. When you're done, you'll have a “seed wheel” to use as a reference for your garden this year…and for seasons to come, as well. You can also feel proud that your child has had yet one more science lesson with plant biology…with some helpful reading and writing practice thrown in. And if all goes well, you can plant some of these seeds together and enjoy a delicious harvest as well.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.