Here are a few things to consider:
- Always plant a few extra seeds as sometimes a child's plant does not sprout. This can be devastating. All these years later, I still remember that I was the kindergartner whose bean seed never grew. Please keep a few that you can substitute if necessary.
- You may want to think about planting a tray of seeds - in fact plant several trays of beans, peas, etc. You can then compare and contrast how these mini-gardens grow. This helps oral language development. It also shows children the importance of working as a class. These class "gardens" encourage togetherness.
- If you have the room and appropriate environment, think about planting outdoors. This will help your children observe the natural features of our environment and how these features are necessary for plants: sunshine and rain. This will add more importance to your daily weather report. Children can then discuss and describe how the day's weather will help or hurt their garden.
The extension to this activity is to discuss healthy food. How do the vegetables that you grew help children grow? We know children who have started to eat beans because they grew a bean plant. Families will thank you!
Additionally, you can talk about how locally grown food is fresher and also helps the environment. Share the idea that we often use trucks to bring in food from far away. When we grow food or buy it from local gardens and farms, this means that the gas from these trucks is not polluting our air.
All of these points about gardens will lead to important discussions. Remember, that any opportunity to get children sharing and talking is a necessary school-readiness skill. This is also helpful for our English learners as they are exposed to content area and academic vocabulary in a meaningful way.
NAEYC - 2.K.01 & 2.K.02.
Head Start - I. A. & B.