Planting a Garden

Program Name: Preschool 1

At the beginning of the month, the children in Preschool 1 started planting the beginnings of our centre's outdoor garden. As construction started on our new playground, the children began planting flowers and herbs inside, in hopes to transplant them into garden beds later in the spring. A box of seeds was donated last fall to our classroom by a parent, so during group time the children helped choose what herbs and vegetables they wanted to grow in the garden.  Discussions were had about giving the end product to Nick, our centre's cook, so that he could create some yummy lunches for us. After carefully reading the packages of seeds, it was decided that we could start by planting the herbs and flowers inside and transfer them into the finished gardens once they got a little bigger. During morning playroom, each child was provided a pot, soil and some seeds of their choosing to plant. After getting the soil wet, the children put their chosen seeds into the soil and covered them up with more dirt before watering them for the first time. The children did this activity in pairs, so they were able to compare the size of their seeds and understand that seeds come in various shapes, sizes and colours. When all of the pots had been planted, a garden table was created by the window, so that the plants could get lots of sunlight. Everyday a child is asked to help water and take care of the plants, in order to help them grow. 

In the days following the planting activity, the children were read books about gardens during large group time. Some of their favourites were; “A Place to Grow” written by Stephanie Bloom and two Winnie the Pooh books called “A Surprise Garden” and “How Does Your Garden Grow?”. The children were able to compare their planting experiences with those in the books, as well as, gain a further understanding of the life cycle of a plant. In one of the Winnie the Pooh books, the characters had to wait patiently for their seeds to grow and demonstrated ways to give extra care to their plants, which included giving them treats and covering them with a blanket. The children were asked what they could do with their seeds and it was suggested that singing to them would be nice.  Shortly after, several children were observed singing to their plants in hopes of seeing some sprouts in the soil. So far a few of the plants have begun to grow and we have the beginnings of some spinach and zinnia flowers to add to our outdoor garden. We will continue to take care of our gardens and everyone seems very excited to plant more once the warmer weather comes and our garden boxes are built.

This experience has taught the children many new skills and concepts. It has given them an excitement for planting and gardening, as well as, given them the foundations and understanding of a plant’s life cycle. They have been very nurturing and protective towards their plants, making sure that nothing disturbs them. Each child has been given a sense of belonging as they check in on their individual plants, as well as, a sense of responsibility as they learn what it takes to make a plant grow successfully. The children also seem excited to try they vegetables that will come from the garden, which will instill a sense of pride, knowing that they had a hand in helping create nutritious plants. If you have a sunny spot and a little patch of soil at your home and would like to try to plant some seeds of your own, don’t be afraid to make the attempt and get your hands dirty, because that is the best part.

A child planting their seeds into their planter cup.

A child looking into their planter cup.

A child scooping soil into their planter cup.

A child observing all of the plants.

A child observing the growth of a plant.