Growing a garden is a fun, educational activity your kids can do while being safe and socially distant! Whether something small like a potted flower, or a bigger backyard vegetable garden, this is a project your children will love and learn from.
The night before you plant your garden, prepare your child by telling him or her what they will be doing. Choose a bedtime book that involves a garden, plants, or outdoor elements. One of my favorites is Plant the Tiny Seed, by Christie Matheson. In the book, kids are asked to clap to bring the sun, wiggle their fingers to make a rain shower, and jiggle the book to plant seeds! It’s a fun, simple way to introduce what’s needed for a garden and the steps involved along the way. You can even watch a reading of this book here:
Spark your child’s interest as you talk about where they think is the best place to plant garden, what he or she wants to grow, and how to take care of it.
Singing songs like this one, The Planting Song, can also help teach your child about the garden growing process and what to expect!
Language Concepts and Vocabulary
Here are some language concepts and vocabulary words to focus on as you and your child get your garden going!
Naming Actions: Dig in the dirt, push down the seeds, pour in the water.
Following Directions: Give your 2 year-old 2-step directions. For example, “get a seed, and put it in the dirt”. Children 3 and up should be able to follow directions with 3 steps (“get a seed, put it in the dirt, and then push it down”).
Spatial Concepts: Words describing location such as in, on, under, next to, behind
Making Sentences: Hold the materials and show your child how he or she can ask for them by making simple phrases or sentences like, “more seeds please!”.
Elementary School Age
Auditory Memory: Tell your child a short list of the materials you need, then challenge him or her to remember them as you gather them from around the house! For example, we need “a pot, seeds, soil, and a watering can. What do we need?”
Sequencing: Help your child as you write down the steps needed to plant the garden. Put them away and then see if he or she can remember and follow the steps in order!
Describing Words: Teach your elementary school aged child advanced vocabulary during the activity, like words that give a rich description. Think words like beautiful, gentle, fragile, and resilient.
More Garden Activities
Keep the theme and learning going with some of these other suggested activities:
Have your child draw a picture of what she thinks the garden will look like.
Make a sensory bin with garden-related objects like soil, rocks, grass, and toy bugs or butterflies.
Incorporate taking care of the garden into your child’s daily routine (snip flowers and put in a vase, water the garden every morning).
Ask your child to write a song or story about their garden.
Good luck growing!
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family