15 Gardening Activities for Preschoolers and Children Alike

It’s never too early to make a green thumb out of your child. And whether you are a parent or school teacher, these gardening activities will have your child excited and learning about nature!

Building a House for Useful Insects (Bug House)

You can do this out of coffee cans or any empty container with a lid. And you can do this in 20 to 30 minutes flat.

 

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All you have to do is:

  • Cut small windows into the can.
  • Have your pre-schooler decorate some papers and attach them to the container.
  • Tape a mesh onto the windows you cut, they should be slightly bigger than the windows.
  • Have your toddler gather some grass, sand, sticks and put them into the container, and like that! Your toddler’s ready to go bug hunting.

Grow a Magic Bean Stalk

If Jack could do it, so can your toddler. This can be a fun and educational activity for him. He can observe and learn how plants grow overtime. It may not grow as fast as Jack’s (1) but once it grows, you won’t be able to tear your toddler away from it.

All you’d need for this is an old container, some beans, some water and some sand or cotton balls. As it grows, you can have your kid keep a report of the changes. In seven days, you should see substantial growth in the beanstalk.

Make a Mobile Garden

Garden pots are great, but they can get boring. You can create a little whimsical mobile garden with an old toy truck or car.

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Nothing to it, you’d plant it the same way you’d plant in a flower pot. You can have your kid put in some stones (pebbles), figurine, some soil and your seed.

It would thrill your pre-schooler to see plant coming out of a truck. The point of this is to make it fun and inspire their imagination.

Make a Terrarium

To do this, you’ll need a big jar with a wide mouth, soil, some charcoal (activated charcoal), and cuttings from plants.

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Then get your toddler to:

  • Put some pebbles into the jar.
  • Next, put some charcoal into the jar.
  • Now some soil. As mentioned earlier, a jar with a wide mouth is important so that your toddler can put these things easily.
  • Then put in the figurines.
  • After they put that in, take some plants, cut and stick their tips into the soil.
  • Add some water into it.
  • Cover the jar, and that’s it!

Grow Seeds in an Eggshell

This is a fun; practical and creative activity and your pre-schoolers will love it. You would need to use small seeds. The eggshell is small and you don’t want the plant quickly outgrowing its pot.

You’ll need an egg carton to put the broken eggshells, your egg shells, and some seed starting mix.

  • Arrange your egg shells into the egg carton. It’s better to do this yourself so your toddler doesn’t crack the egg shells even more.
  • Have your toddler put some seed starting mix into the eggshells.
  • Put some seeds into the shells.

The egg carton should be placed at the windowsill so it can get some sunlight and don’t forget to water them every couple of days. But make sure not to over water them.

Growing Grass

The best thing about this activity is it’s incredibly easy to do.

 

How Does Gardening Help a Child’s Development?

 

Here’s what you’ll need, some clear cups, some soil and some grass seeds.

  • Have your pre-schooler put some soil into the cup. Not all the way up, leave a two-inch space.
  • Next, have them add some grass seeds into the cup.
  • Put some soil over the seeds. This is why you leave the space. at the top.
  • Water it and wait for it to grow.

Don’t forget to put in a sunny area.

Exploring Seeds

This activity is great for pre-schoolers because it heightens their curiosity and promotes their interest in discovery. Get some seeds, as many kinds. Put them in them a tray. Have your kids study them. They can touch them with their hands and look at them through a magnifying glass.

 

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Encourage them to discuss the seeds; their colours, shapes and sizes. You can also compare foods and fruits and discover which have seeds and which don’t. You can also have the kids open the seeds if they can and compare their insides. This way, your kids can tell the seeds are different and talk about how different they are.

Watering Plants

This is another gardening activity that can teach kids about responsibility. Before you get the kids to start watering the plants, explain to them why plants need water. it’s important that you do this so they understand what happens when they don’t water the plants.

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You can also create a schedule so that each kid in class waters the plants. If it’s just you and your kid, you can share the responsibility with them. As the kids water the plant, ask them what they’ve observed since they began watering the plants.

You can ask them if they feel like the plant looks greener or bigger.

Gather and Identify Fruits and Vegetables

This is a great way to introduce kids to different fruits and vegetables. And it works great if you already have a garden. You can also take them to the farmer’s market and have them help you gather vegetables and fruits.

This is a perfect way for your kid to explore all five senses. You can have them talk about what the fruit looks like, feels like, taste like and have them compare fruits.

Egg Carton Green House

Instead of throwing out your empty egg carton, you can use it for a gardening activity. To do this, you’ll need an empty egg carton, a packet of seeds. Different types will create variety, and that will be fun.

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Also, your pre-schooler can compare the plants as they grow. Get some potting soil, cups (or a something to scoop the soil), a plastic bag and water.

  • Separate your egg cartons into two halves.
  • Have your toddler use the cup or scooper to scoop some soil into the egg carton.
  • Have them put the different seeds into each space in the carton and use a pen and paper to label them.
  • Water the seeds.
  • Cover them with plastic wrap and watch them grow.

While you do this, you can talk to your kid about the different types of seeds. What the seeds need to grow into plants and what they should expect to see. But don’t reveal it all. Allow them to be pleasantly surprised.

Make a Bird Feeder

To do this, you can get materials from your home or do a quick trip to the grocery store. Here’s what you’ll need, a big, empty milk carton, a string, scissor, a bowl and a knife.

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  • Clean the milk carton, make sure there are no milk residues left in it.
  • Then cut a hole that’s big enough for a bird to fit into.
  • Next, put a hole at the top of the feeder and put a string through it. Tie the string securely at the top.
  • Fill up the bed feeder with seeds and hang it.

This gardening activity is perfect during the winter, especially because birds need all the help they can get during that time.

Grow Sprouts Out of a Sponge

This will be fun and a little unusual, making it perfect for your pre-schooler. Here’s what you’ll need, a sponge (preferably a green one), a seed packet. Broccoli will do just fine, and it will give your kids a chance to look on them favourably.

Get some water bottle (preferably a spray one) and a plate.

  • Cut the sponge into any shape you want. This is unnecessary, but it will be fun for the kids. Next, have the kids.
  • Wet the sponge. It should be damp, not dripping.
  • Place the seeds on the sponge and gently push them into the hole.
  • Spray some water on the sponge and place it on the windowsill so it can get some sun.

Seed in a Jar

Your pre-schooler will love the simplicity of this.

Here’s what you’ll need: a jar, or more, depending on how many you want to grow. Some paper towels and some seeds.

 

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Help your pre-schooler or toddler to:

  • Wet the paper towels and place them in a jar. They should come almost to the top of the jar.
  • Put the seeds into the jar. It should be around the middle of the jar.
  • Place at a sunny window and watch them sprout.

Dissect a Flower

This is a fun way to teach the kids about pollination. Here’s what you’ll need to properly dissect your flower (2): a shoebox, a pencil, a flower stem (any kind is fine), pins and scissors.

  • Cut the lid off the shoe box.
  • Split the flowers into parts. Do it in a way that the stem, petals, ovary, stamen and stigmas are separate.
  • Pin the flower parts into the box and label them.
  • Identify the parts of the flower and discuss them with your child. Here you can explain how pollination works.

Gardening can be a way to teach your kids amazing life lessons about life and nature. And, with the right activities, you can turn your pre-schooler into an enthusiastic gardener.

 

Glossary

  1. Jack’s Beanstalk – link
  2. Dissecting a Flower – link