Are you having a hard time finding plant and seed activities or projects that are simple to set up and are age-appropriate for your science center for preschoolers?
Today, I’m going to share ideas for plant activities that your preschoolers will love.
Green Bean Investigation
You can conduct an investigation with any fruit or vegetable to learn about plants and seeds. I’m going to show you how to investigate a green bean. The printables pictured below are part of my Plant & Seed Investigation set.
Pick up some bulk green beans in the produce department of your grocery store. The bulk variety is generally less expensive than the ones that are prepared and ready to steam.
Some kids might be surprised to learn that green beans grow on a plant, are picked, and then shipped to a grocery store or market. Each child can select a green bean and can conduct a fun & easy science project for your preschoolers.
Record Appearance of the Green Bean
Each green bean is unique in appearance. Kids can begin their study by studying their green bean and making a record of its appearance.
They can draw or trace their bean and can record its color. Does it have a stem on it? Does it have any spots or blemishes? They can make a record of those too.
Kids can then indicate the shape and texture of their bean.
If your kids are really good at noticing differences between green beans, you can play a game with them. After each child studies his or her bean, mix a few of them together. Can they identify THEIR bean?
Measure a Green Bean
Another way that scientist study things is by measuring. Kids can measure their green bean in a few different ways.
You can provide a kitchen scale so that kids can weigh their beans. If you prefer, you can also provide a balance scale, and kids can compare their bean’s weight to marbles or blocks.
In addition to weighing, kids can measure the length of their bean. You can provide counting cubes, a measuring strip, or cut a piece of yarn so that it is the same length as their bean.
You can ask kids to sort their beans by length from shortest to longest.
Provide a small container of water so that kids can test whether their bean sinks or floats. Don’t forget to ask your little scientists to make a hypothesis first.
Count the Seeds
Your kids may be surprised to learn that green beans have seeds inside them. Show kids how to cut their bean open with scissors and let them find and count all the seeds inside.
Green Bean Taste Test
Kids can put their taste buds to work as they try green beans. Clean and cut up some green beans and let them try them raw. They might be surprised by how they taste.
You can also let them sample canned green beans, dehydrated green bean chips, or any favorite recipe you want to share with them.
Record the results on a class graph and you can analyze the data with them.
One of the best ways to learn about plants is to plant a seed and watch it grow.
Which seeds are the easiest to plant?
Some of the easiest seeds to plant with kids are green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkins.
Plant a Seed in a Pot
Use little peat pots or containers from your recycling bin to plant seeds with your kids. Let kids use a spray bottle to keep the soil moist. Spray bottles are exciting for kids, so they make a fun fine motor activity.
Encourage kids to observe their plant and record their observations.
Observe Sprouts in a Plastic Sandwich Bag
Kids can observe germination and the development of leaves and stems when they place seeds in a plastic sandwich bag.
Fold a paper towel into a small square and spray it with water until it is moist. Place a couple of seeds on top of the towel and place them in a plastic bag. Hang them in a window or from a clothesline, and kids can observe the changes.
Plant a Seed in a Bag
I found some little plastic bags in my supply closet and found that they were perfect for plant observation activities. Spoon a little potting mix into the bag and then poke a seed into the soil. Ensure that the seed is at the front of the bag so that kids can see all the action.
Hang the open bag in a window where it is easy for little ones to observe it. You can add water as needed with a pipette.
Parts of a Plant
After your little plant-in-a-bag starts growing, you can use it to talk about the different parts of a plant. Kids can identify the roots, stems, and leaves.
You can also let kids examine your plants before planting them in your garden or an outdoor learning environment. This little tomato plant already has some blossoms on it.
Sometimes when you buy plants at the nursery, you will find multiple plants in a single pot. I carefully pulled a couple of the bonus zucchini plants out so that kids could examine the roots and all.
The Life Cycle of a Plant
As you examine plants and seeds, you can talk about life cycles. All living things go through stages of life. A green bean plant starts as a seed, progresses to seed with root, then to a seedling, a plant, a flowering plant, and finally, green beans are produced.
Plants start out as seeds, so it is always fun to study seeds.
Kids can search for the seeds in the fruits and vegetables that they eat. They enjoy examining the inside of tomatoes, green peppers, and pumpkins.
Kids can also get some cutting practice as they cut apart green beans to find the seeds inside.
Provide pictures of fruits and vegetables. Can you see the seeds?
Encourage kids to sort the pictures. Here are some ideas:
- by color
- foods that they like and foods that they don’t like
- large seeds and tiny seeds
- seeds that we eat and seeds that we don’t eat
Seed Identification & Sorting
Studying seeds is a great preschool plant activity. You can show kids that there are many different types of seeds. A bean seed looks very different than a cucumber seed.
Provide a variety of different types of seeds for kids to examine. Can they identify them and sort them?
Counting Seeds & Plants
Your kids can work on math and fine motor skills as they count seeds.
Cut apart some inexpensive plastic plants, and kids can sort and count them as well.
Plant Themed Playdough Activities
Plant, Seed & Garden Themed Books
Find a great list of plant and garden-themed books for your kids. My personal favorite is Mucha! Muncha! Muncha! Kids in preschool LOVE the book.
If you want to focus your plant and seed study on flowers, your kids can conduct a flower investigation.
PURCHASE THE PRINTABLES
Are you ready to help set up some plant activities for preschoolers? This set of Plant Investigation Printables will help you create easy-prep plant activities for your preschoolers. Check out the set in my store today.