From selecting which plants to grow, to preparing the earth for planting, and finally harvesting the edible crops, gardening can be a wonderful way to involve your kids in a healthy hobby that the whole family can enjoy.

Along with the fun of getting dirty, gardening helps children learn valuable lessons about patience as they wait for vegetables to grow, responsibility as they tend to their garden, and even loss, as flowers die at the end of a season.  ”They learn about nurturing a life and what it takes to keep something alive,” says Amy Gifford, an education associate for the National Gardening Association.

What We’re Reading:

Jack’s Garden

Henry Cole (Author, Illustrator)

 

My Garden

Kevin Henkes (Author, Illustrator)

 

 

A Green, Green Garden

Mercer Mayer (Author, Illustrator)

 

 

Growing Vegetable Soup

Lois Ehlert (Author)

 

 


In the Garden

IKids (Author)

 

How Groundhog’s Garden Grew

Lynne Cherry (Illustrator)

 

 

Songs:

Parts of Plants Song (sung to the tune of Muffin Man)

Oh, do you know the parts of plants,

The parts of plants, the parts of plants?

Do you know the parts of plants

That make them grow and grow?

 

The roots, they hold the plant in place,

The plant in place, the plant in place.

The roots they hold the plant in place

Soak up food and water, too.

The stem moves water up the plant,

Up the plant, up the plant.

The stem moves water up the plant

Brings water to the leaves.

The leaves soak up the rays of sun,

The rays of sun, the rays of sun.

And help the plant make food.

The flower grows into a fruit,

Into a fruit, into a fruit.

The flower grows into a fruit, Which holds the tiny seeds.

Now you know the parts of plants,

The parts of plants, the parts of plants,

Now you know the parts of plants,

That make them grow and grow.

 

The Vegetable Song (sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Carrots, Peas, and Broccoli,

Vegetables are good for me.

For my snack and in my lunch,

Veggie sticks are great to munch.

Carrots, Peas, and Broccoli,

Vegetables are good for me.

 

The Good Food Song (sung to the tune of Old MacDonald Had a Farm)

Vegetables are good for me, EE I EE I O

And so I eat them happily, EE I EE I O

(Children take turns naming vegetables that they like)

With a carrot, carrot here, and a carrot, carrot there

Here a carrot, there a carrot

Everywhere a carrot, carrot

Vegetables are good for me, EE I EE I O.

 

Meet the Veggies

Tomato: I’m round and red and juicy too.

Chop me for a salad,

Or dump me in your stew!

 

Lettuce: Hey, wait a minute!

If a salad you’re fixin’

I can stand alone.

No need for the mixin’!

 

Onion: Chop me and slice me

But keep water near.

I sometimes get juicy

And can bring on a tear!

 

Carrot: Orange is my color;

I stand long and lean.

In the garden you’ll see

Just my bright leaves of green.

 

Pea: I live in a pod

With so many others.

I think I was born

With one hundred brothers!

 

Green Bean: Look in the garden

You’ll see my sign.

Then bring out your basket

When it’s pickin’ time!

 

Potato: I’ve an eye for perfection

To give you the best.

Baked, mashed or fried-

I’ll pass the test!

 

Cabbage: My head is quite thick

So people tell me.

I guess that’s the reason

Grocery stores sell me!

 

Celery: Cut and rinse my stalks,

Then spread on cream cheese.

A refreshing hors d’oeuvre

To make parties a breeze!

 

Squash: Some call me a game,

A game of good sport,

But I’m really to eat

As a side dish of sorts!

 

Brussel Sprout: I’m kinda cute

When I’m served on a plate

I’m just a little mouthful.

You can eat six or eight!

 

Cauliflower: I carry white flowers

To break off and eat.

I’m sometimes served raw,

A nutritious snack treat!

 

Broccoli: My friends call me trees

Now that’s a funny name.

Though I am a dark green

With stalks just the same.

We’re the veggies you should eat every day! Now don’t make a face. We’re as good as we say!

 

Activities:

Painting with Veggies:

Get creative with your little ones and rather than painting with paintbrushes, use vegetables instead!  A potato cut in half can make an oval-shaped ladybug, and the end of a carrot can create the dots.  Make a beautiful flower picture with the end of a celery stalk.  What else can you make with your veggies?

Garden Markers:

With some flat rocks, paint on the names of planted vegetables in your garden.  This is not only a great way to keep track of what has been planted, but also another fun activity to get your kids excited about gardening.  I know my little guy will love making these!

You can also try making your own watering can, using an old milk jug.  Simply poke holes through the lid, fill with water, and pour.  It’s easy for the kiddos, and will make them feel even more connected to the gardening process!

I also recommend visiting the Kids’ Garden Club website for additional gardening ideas.

 

Snack:

Plant Parts We Eat!

This is an awesome snack that I used in my classroom to explain to my students that we eat ALL the different parts of a plant!  Did you know we eat seeds, flowers, stems, leaves, AND roots!?!

Seeds:

  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts

Flowers:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichoke

Fruit:

  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Orange
  • Blueberry
  • Squash
  • Cucumber

Stem:

  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms

Leaves:

  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

Roots:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Radish
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips

***Potatoes are not root, even though they grow underground. They are not vegetables either. They are actually tubers (underground swollen stems).

***Onions are not roots either. They are stems and leaves that grow under the ground.

 

Family Activity:

Plant your own family garden!  Get the kids involved by letting them pick their own fruits and vegetables to plant!  The entire family can prepare the garden, plant the seeds or plants, and harvest the produce.  My kids love to watch their plants grow, and show off their garden to family and friends.  I’m sure your kiddos will enjoy it too!  Happy planting!