Seeing a seed you plant in the ground begin to sprout and grow is very exciting, especially for young children! At our Phoenix childcare and preschool programs, we’ve recently explored a preschool gardening theme and as you can see, it’s been a hit for our students!
These experiences showcase what our custom, developmentally appropriate curriculum is centered around – hands-on learning where children are engaged and excited!
Read on to see more of our discoveries!
Through discussion and open-ended conversation about the plants that live naturally around us we also discovered the water cycle and what happens when the rain pours on our beautiful desert environment. We also learned about bees and why the work they do is so important to the cycle of growth we see in plants and flowers.
Together we’ve planted grass, beans, corn, and many other vegetables we can’t wait to see sprout! Each child has had the opportunity to be included from start to finish as they’ve chosen a seed, filled the container with soil, and watered and cared for their plant.
It is said that gardening supports the whole child, meaning that it allows for work in all developmental areas while also being an exciting activity for a child to be involved in. There are many benefits to preschool-age, young children spending time in the garden! The most popular include –
A heightened awareness of where food comes from, (it doesn’t just appear at the grocery store!) as well as the steps needed to grow and harvest a crop.
Interests sparked to try new foods or things they may have previously not expressed interest in
Opportunities for conversation and language development, many children (and adults) are able to have more thoughtful and engaging conversations when their hands are busy. When needing to approach a sensitive or complicated topic, consider inviting young children to help in the garden and see what conversations can “bloom.”
Math and problem-solving skills – when planting seeds there are specific depths in the soil where seeds should be planted, length of space between plants that must be followed, and other measuring and mathematically related dynamics. All gardeners know that there will be times when plants to well and thrive while at other times they may wilt or not sprout at all. These are great opportunities for preschoolers to practice problem-solving and research to see what changes in the environment need to be made in order for the garden to prosper.
To add to these STEAM learning experiences, our oldest preschoolers and school-age students created their own name puzzles. This is a great example of an activity you can do at home!
Reinforces letter and name recognition
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