My twins spent most of last Spring with their elbows and knees smudged with dirt. They love to garden and we learned a lot about growing things as part of our homeschool preschool.
The planting. The dirt. The watering. Oh the watering. But it all starts with a seed.
Seeds are the stuff of miracles. Tiny little things that erupt at Springtime giving us all renewed hope.
Gardens, flowers, and planting are popular Springtime themes for classrooms, learning, and story times. I have a fairly disastrous green thumb, but every Spring I too attempt to teach my kids, and classrooms of preschoolers and toddlers before them, to be better at caring for seeds and plants.
When the Virtual Book Club for Kids announced their gardening theme I knew seeds is where I wanted to start. We have some fun themes and books picked out for this Spring. I hope you are joining. For now, let’s talk about Gardens and the things we grow inspired by The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle.
Growing a Seed Storytime
Note: Our story times always have the same parts; We start with a hello song. Next, I read 2-3 books about a topic with a rhyme/song and group activity that works on a developmental goal in between each book. We end with a goodbye song and then head to the table. At the table there is an invitation of some sort that works on another one of the developmental skills they are building. These elements are all listed below so you can move them around into whatever order works for you!
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Books about Seeds
A lot of focus when learning about planting and gardens focuses on the product – what all these miraculous seeds grow. The flowers, vegetables, and more. These books focus on those amazing little dots of potential and the tender care that aids them along.
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
This book captures the miracle of a tiny seed as it follows it through the seasons until it bursts into color. Eric Carle brings this process to the page with brilliance that continues to inspire little kids to grab a towel and start planting. As a bonus, this copy includes a seeded paper that you can indeed plant.
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
This is a classic and simple story about a little boy who plants a seed. No one in his family believes it will grow but he faithfully cares for his seed and patiently waits until one day all that patience pays off.
Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler
This is the story of Miss Maple who lives in a maple tree and travels around every summer collecting seeds orphaned seeds. She brings them home and cares for them until Spring. This is a tender story with beautiful illustrations and a imagination provoking tale about seasons, growing up, and seeds.
Songs about Seeds and Growing Plants
The Farmer Plants the Seeds song – watch Kiboomers on YouTube
The Rain Comes Down Song – This is one of my favorites for Spring time. Find Lyrics here.
Four Seasons Song – watch Jbrary on YouTube. This is not specifically about plants but planting always makes me think about Spring and the changing of seasons.
The Goodbye Train is Leaving. (Watch on YouTube) from Jbrary
Table Invitation: What Will Grow Creative Invitation
I think growing things is exciting because of the anticipation. What will grow?
The pictures on the seed packets do take away some of the mystery, but you still can’t help but get excited waiting for that little burst of color to pop out and confirm your expectations.
At the end of the story time, if you can set up a station for planting. My top tips for planting with toddlers make this easy and a lot less messy.
I also love this creative invitation for imaging what might grow from that seed you just planted.
Scissors for adult use
Index Cards and Pen (optional)
Prep for this activity by cutting shapes, triangles, squares or whatever shapes you are working on in a variety of sizes and colors.
For each child you will also want to prepare one piece of blue construction paper with a green stem attached.
Place a glue stick next to each paper and place a basket or tray of shapes for each 2-4 children to share.
“What do you think will grow from your seed?”
Ask each kid to imagine what might grow from their seed and try to use the shapes in the basket to create what they are thinking of in their mind.
I avoid giving models or too much direction for a project like this. Encourage them to look at the shapes and colors and see what they can imagine. There is no right or wrong answer.
As they work, make sure to include the names of shapes you are working on in your conversations and observations. For example, you could say “I am noticing a lot of purple triangles in your picture. Do you want to tell me about them?”
When the kids are done, you could:
*Hang them all up so everyone can see what might grow “From a Tiny Seed”
*Send them home with a note about the story you read and their plant.
More Garden Unit and Story Time Ideas
My Virtual Book Club for Kids co-hosts have more ideas inspired by The Tiny Seed.
Alphabet Puzzle Cards from Sea of Knowledge
Flower Garden Name Puzzle from Still Playing School
Number Activities with Printable Flowers and Worms from JDaniel4’s Mom
Garden Flower Ten Frame from Rainy Day Mum
The Seeds We Eat from Teach Beside Me
A Fun Way for Kids to Plan a Garden from Sunny Day Family
Seed + Plant Matching Game with FREE Cards from Preschool Powol Packets
Plant Biology for Kids + Garden Themed Learning Activities from Mama Smiles
Observing Seed Germination in a Plastic Bag from Inspiration Laboratories
Rainbow Spin Art Flower Craft from Messy Little Monster
Garden Pretend Play and Fine Motor Activity from Views From a Step Stool
Colorful Ribbon Flower Craft for Kids from Toddler Approved