Seed Packet Lessons
This lesson covers science skills of classifying and predicting, graphing, sorting, seed planting. It covers Math skills of graphing, sorting, counting, functions with whole numbers. Language arts skills of communication.
For this lesson, you will need
- a variety of seeds and their packet (6-8 for younger children and more for older children.)
- A piece of cardboard, index cards, or thick construction paper
If you do not normally plant a garden and need inexpensive seeds, try your local store where everything costs $1. I got 4 packs of seed for $1. I also found a “garden pack” with 6 varieties of vegetables for $1.
Different ideas for classifying/matching seeds:
- Cut the poster board in half. From one half, cut squares to measure about 3 inches. Glue 2-3 seeds from each packet onto a square. Glue the seed packs on the poster board. (NOTE: If you will only use a few seeds and want to keep the rest for planting, I suggest taking a digital picture of the seed packet, print, and cut out the picture to glue to the poster board.) If using construction paper, cut squares out of one sheet and glue packets/pictures to another. Your child will match the seed to the plant it comes from. Some really neat seeds to use are: cucumber, bean, carrot, mustard, pumpkin, sunflower, corn, radish. As you can see in the following picture, I did not have poster board, but used scrapbook card stock and index cards.
2. Use a bag of birdseed. I like to ask young children a question to get them to think logically. When talking about all of these different seeds, you have sunflower seeds that grow sunflowers, bean seeds grow beans, onion seeds grow onions, etc. Then ask your child, “What does bird seed grow?” I have had many children over the years to answer “birds” and then stop and think about it. There is usually a list on the bag of birdseed that tells each seed that is in the mixture. Have your child sort the seeds. NOTE: When working with small seeds, like a birdseed mix, it is an excellent time to have out a pair of tweezers and have your child try to pick up seeds with tweezers. This activity will help develop muscles that will aid in small motor skills.
Math with seeds:
- For young children, program index cards with a number and have the child put that number of seeds on the card. As your child gets older, begin writing number words instead of the number.
Program index cards with a math problem. Have your child place that number of seeds over each number and then count and write the answer. If you want to reuse the cards each day, use double sided tape and a piece of clear plastic wrap. Your child can use a dry erase marker to write the answer on the plastic wrap. This serves as a laminated card. When your child is ready to do the cards the next day, simply wipe off the marker or replace the plastic wrap with a clean piece.
Be sure and have your child talk to you while doing these activities. Always be careful to never use a “baby voice” when talking to your young children. Also, if you notice your child pronouncing words incorrectly, don’t mimic your child’s pronunciation, no matter how cute it may be. It re-enforces the idea that (s)he is pronouncing the word correctly. You don’t have to say, “You are not saying that correctly.” With young children, simply hearing you say the word correctly in a sentence will help your child understand to pronounce the word correctly. For example, your child says, “See the pwetty fwower.” You can say something, like: “ I do see that pretty flower.” If you see that your child is having real difficulty with pronunciation to the point that a speech therapist might be needed, there are a few exercises you can try at home to help correct before calling in a therapist. If you may be in need of some of these helps, please feel free to send a comment and I will be glad to share. If I see there is a great need for this kind of correct pronunciation lesson, I will be more than happy to do a blog on that, also. There is a wealth of speech therapy videos on youtube, if you need them. Please, Please, please, if you see that your child has a speech problem that is not improving or easily corrected, look into getting help with a therapist.
Art/Craft: Make a seed picture. Use a simple picture, like the one here, print it on cardstock, and let your child glue beans from a bag of bean soup/dry popcorn, to make the picture. (The link for the picture is at “Twisty Noodle”. This is also a great resource for handwriting sheets to print and practice handwriting and many other preschool skills.)
More science: This is an excellent time to begin a small garden. Using a cardboard egg carton, put in seed starting pellets you have presoaked in water, or potting soil and then let your child choose 12 plants to begin for a mini garden.
After the plants sprout, the egg cups can be cut apart and planted in the ground. They decompose and are not harmful to the earth. If you do not have access to a paper egg carton, don’t fret. You can make planters from toilet paper rolls. You can actually get two cups from one roll. This is a large cup, made with one whole roll.
Cut 4 slits around the bottom of the toilet paper roll.
Fold in the slits and form a small cup. Fill the cup with potting soil.
Plant your seed, and you are ready to see sprouts. I do suggest keeping these in plastic container. If save the containers from you cakes or cupcakes you might buy at the store, this would be a great time to use those.
Have a great day, and Happy Gardening!!