Spring is coming! I love the spring time. The snow melts away, the flowers start to pop out of the ground and we can get outside again. Springtime feels like it is full of possibilities. We bought our house in November a few years ago, so when the gardens around our house started to bloom, we had no idea what types of plants and flowers to expect. It was so fun watching the plants start to come up through the soil and wait to see what would grow. Today’s book asks the same thing, and offers a lot of fun opportunities to learn about plants with different kinds of seed activities.
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What Will Grow? was written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Susie Ghahremani. This book explores a variety of different seeds in a short rhyming text and colorful illustrations. Some of the pages fold out, allowing the reader to see how plants grow. (For example, the sunflower page folds up to show how tall they grow). Each two page spread shows what the seeds look like before they are planted, as well as what the plants look like after they bloom.
I really like how the illustrations show different animals interacting with the seeds and the plants. It introduces readers to the growth cycle of these seeds and plants without human interaction. There are squirrels playing with the acorns which will become a tree, and birds pecking apple seeds out of a core. The final spread showcasing a beautiful garden full of wildlife will inspire kids to want to grow their own. The book also includes a glossary giving readers more information on the seeds and plants shown in the book, including when and how to plant them. They also break down the growth cycle of the plants from seeds to flower, and then back to seeds again. This book provides a great introduction to gardens and plants for young children.
Learning About Seeds
Sensory Seeds – Seeds present a great sensory learning experience for kids. Put a variety of different seeds into a container and let kids explore them. Talk to them about how each of them feels, looks and sounds. Are they rough, pointy or round? Do they sound heavy or light when you pour them into a container? Have them use descriptive words to talk about the different seeds and introduce them to new vocabulary. Give them an opportunity to play with them using cups, spoons or other tools.
Counting/Sorting Seeds – Seeds are a great manipulative to practice sorting, counting or grouping. You can use them for kids at various skill levels. Have young kids sort seeds based on certain characteristics (round or long, brown or black). Children who are working on counting can place numbers of seeds on a counting mat. Older children can sort seeds into groups or threes, fives, tens, etc. I created a free counting mat printable to help kids organize their seeds. The first printable is marked 1-10 so kids can add the correct number of seeds into each box, while the other is blank so they can organize their seeds into groups.
What Will Grow?
Predicting What Will Grow – This is a fun way to get kids excited about science and teach them how to grow plants. Get an assortment of seeds and have kids plant them in different planters without knowing what they are. Have them make predictions when they first plant them and write them down. Show them how to take care of the plants, making sure to give them water and place them in the sun. As they start to grow, see if they want to adjust their predictions at all. This activity also helps kids to work on making predictions and altering their answers based on the evidence they are given.
Planting a Garden Together
Planting a Garden – Find a space in your yard, or on your rooftop or windowsill, and give kids the chance to plant flowers or vegetables that they like. This could be a fun project to get the whole family involved in. Go to the store together and check out the selection of seeds available. Discuss the types of plants that will be best suited for the size and placement of your garden. Read up on how to correctly plant and care for the seeds you have picked out. Assign jobs to everyone, whether it is digging, planting or watering the plants. This is a great opportunity to teach kids about responsibility, because the plants can’t grow if they don’t take care of them!
Dramatic Play Garden- Dramatic play is a great way to introduce kids to real world situations, while giving them the opportunity to use their imaginations. Create an area in your home where kids can act out gardening and tending to plants. You can purchase fake flowers at a craft store or online (here are some from Amazon). You could also make your own out of colored felt. Cut various flower shapes out of felt and attach a green pipe cleaner for a stem.
You can create a garden area by lining up pool noodles in a box and draping brown or black felt over them. Tuck the felt between the noodles to create rows. You can then “plant” play food or felt food. Make sure you stock their garden area with shovels, buckets and a watering can so they can mimic tending to their garden. You can also poke holes in a paper towel holder and place the flowers inside so your child can “pick” them.
Seed activities for all kinds of learning!
There are so many fun ways to incorporate seeds into learning activities, and this book is a great starting point. From science and math to dramatic play, there is a little something for everyone. Get kids excited about the spring time with some of these fun activities!