Gardens are not gardens without a touch of magic. There is something special about the way a tiny, dry little seed hides in the dirt, then somehow makes its way to the light. I think it’s important to encourage a child’s sense of awe – and maybe rediscover it ourselves. The magic and wonder can be a great early draw into a love of both gardening and science. I’ve found a collection of bloggers who know that and have some of the best ways to teach kids about seeds and the amazing ways they grow.
Anatomy of a Seed
For younger kids, exposure is a great way to form interest. This seed sorting activity will give them tactile experience, but it also build the foundational, mystical idea that these tiny seeds are associated with big, beautiful fruits and veggies and flowers.
Once you have the seeds sorted out, spend some time investigating them. How are they the same? How are they different? Do they have any features that remind you of the plants? Why are some smaller and some bigger? This is one of those great activities that can span the age groups in your home. Littles can keep it as simple as size or color comparison, while older kids can really dive deep into dispersement and other characteristics of the plant and its seeds.
Now that we’ve looked closely at the outside of seeds, let’s open some up and see what’s going on inside! Beans are the go-to for this since they are big and easy to manipulate, dissect, and evaluate.
But wait – not all seeds have the same kind of anatomy. Corn kernels will help demonstrate the differences and similarities between monocots and dicots.
What’d ya learn? This quiz is for older kids and can be used as-is or as a blueprint for comprehension questions to ask your littles. If you’re like me, a good quiz is a way to make sure you’re confident in the subject as you talk it through with your little ones.
This is a fun and simple twist on growing seeds in a baggie, that is, if you even have any CD cases left! I like that it’s harder for little fingers to squish and tear the case, and it can lean against the wall on the counter or in the window.
What do you get when you mix a hypothesis with some friendly competition? A really exciting science experiment! Who can guess which seeds will sprout first? Which will be the strongest? Which will grow the most?
There are quite a few sprouting activities on this page, but my favorite is the experiment on growing mediums. What will it take for your seeds to grow?
Sometimes a visual makes a big difference for little ones. I love this “sprout house” green house frame for sprouting baggies. You could put one around your CD case sprouter, too!
This is one I hadn’t thought of or seen before – fill up a gardening glove with seeds in each finger, and watch them all grow! I love the unique visual and how you can watch multiple plants sprout simultaneously.
Have fun together with these, and then sit down together with your seed catalogs to plan out your kids section of the spring garden!