As the weather gets warmer and we
start thinking about spring, it is a good time to plant seeds and watch their
This process puts children in touch with
a vital force of nature. It is an easy way to give them this connection, and
leads to a respect and understanding of the process on which we all depend for
food and oxygen.
If you do not have an outdoor place in which to plant
seeds, indoor cups or flower pots will do. This is an activity that is easy to
work on together at home and it can be a fun lesson for children to learn about
the way things grow.
You may buy seeds, but you can also sprout several
things that are already in the house, such as a potato, sweet potato, or carrot
top. You could also see what happens when you plant seeds from fruit or
vegetables you eat at home.
The Tiny Seed is a
wonderful book by Eric Carle. It chronicles the cycle of a seed being planted
and growing into a flower. This is but one of many cycles of life that children
can learn about in order to appreciate the wonder of the world around them.
Another Eric Carle book, Pancakes, Pancakes,
chronicles the steps it takes to be able to put pancakes on the breakfast table
-- from harvesting wheat to making the pancakes themselves. It is a great
example for showing children that what they eat had a beginning in nature and
didnít just pop out of a box purchased in the grocery store.
The Reason for a Flower,
by Ruth Heller and From Seed to Plant, by Gail Gibbons are excellent
books that give botanical facts in ways that young children can understand them.
Many other books explain the benefits of plants to
people. Children as young as first graders can understand the process through
which plants take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen, while people do the
opposite. This is an example through which we explain to children the
relationship that people have with plants, and how important they are to us.