Four-year-olds have fun growing from seeds into plants

By Risa Young and Robin Smith

Materials:

  • open space to move in
  • (optional) a variety of seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower

Developing Skills:

  • Children will learn to express themselves creatively as they sing and pantomime.

In Advance: Talk about seeds and plants. If possible, bring in a variety for children to look at and compare. Discuss the sizes, shapes, and colors. Help children sort and classify seeds into various groupings.

ACTIVITY

Ask children what people do with seeds. Talk about the process of planting seeds and encourage children to tell you the steps involved, first in planting a seed and then in how a seed grows into a plant.

Record children's thoughts and add line drawings to illustrate them. Look over your list and together make sure the sequencing is correct.

Group children in a large circle in an open space. Explain that the circle game you are about to play is about planting and growing seeds.

To play the game, you'll pretend to be a farmer and give each child a magic sunflower or pumpkin seed to eat. When he or she takes the seed, she also becomes a pretend seed and acts out the following song. (Sing the song together to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell," and encourage children to move to the music and interpret the words in their own ways.)

The Farmer Plants the seeds (Tune: "The Farmer in the Dell")

The farmer plants the seeds.

The farmer plants the seeds.

Hi ho, the derry-o,

The farmer plants the seeds.

(The next verses follow the same song pattern.)

The wind starts to blow...

The rain starts to fall...

The sun starts to shine...

The seeds start to grow...

The plants grow and grow...

The farmer picks the plants...

And now the harvest's in...

Take enough time for each verse so all the children can act it out fully. At the song's end, have everyone come together and dance around the circle in celebration!

SPIN-OFF: Make seed headbands. Have children look at and then draw different kinds of seeds on strips of construction paper. Then staple the ends of the strips together so that children can wear them as headbands as they enjoy their seed growth performances.

BOOKS

I'm A Seed by Jean Marzollo (Scholastic, 1996; $4)

A Packet of Seeds by Deborah Hopkinson (Greenwillow, 2004; $16)

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle (Simon & Schuster, 2001; $8)

* To order, call 800-SCHOLASTIC.