Outdoor Activities: Plant Play
Invite children to sprout, grow, and blossom!
- Grades: PreK–K
Children will develop gross-motor and sequencing skills.
- Light classical or nature music and device for playing music
- Seeds, sprouting beans, and plants with roots exposed
- Chart paper and marker
Begin a discussion about plants and gardens. Ask children if they have ever planted seeds or watched someone else do it. Encourage them to talk about the materials used for planting and what they think happens to the different seeds.
Step 1: Gather children outdoors. Invite them to look together at the samples you brought in. Ask children to try to identify them and share what they know about seeds, sprouts, roots, and plants. Write down their thoughts on chart paper.
Step 2: Help children divide into pairs. Explain that one child in each pair can pretend to be a gardener while the other child pretends to be a seed.
Step 3: Set the mood for calm movement by playing your musical selection. Then use descriptive words to tell how gardeners plant their tiny seeds snug in the ground. Encourage children to act out the story as you narrate.
Step 4: Continue describing the plant growth cycle and offer additional activities for the gardeners and seeds to act out, including watering, weeding, sprouting, budding, and unfolding. Finish by telling how the flower turns to face the sun and describing how the gardener feels about helping the plant along. Invite children to switch roles and repeat the activity.
For younger children: Share the sprouting seed with children to begin the activity. Have children focus on dramatizing the movement of the seed sprouting or popping up above the earth's surface.
For older children: Play a variety of different types of music. Have children try to identify and imitate the growth of different types of plants, including flowering plants, trees, and vines, that the musical selections call to mind.
Observations: Do children seem to understand the meaning of words such as sprouting and budding? Are they able to act them out through movement?
Snap photographs of children as they act out plant growth. Mount each photo on construction paper. Invite children to dictate or write a descriptive caption for each photo. Arrange the completed pages in sequence and bind them together to create a book titled "From Seed to Plant."