Exploring seeds in the gardening center

Exploring seeds in the gardening center

We have spent several days exploring seeds and today we started off by reading the book “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle…


After reading the book, we explored a variety of different kinds of seeds.  We started out by looking at the packages the seeds come in from the store.  We played a little matching game first…

Then we opened up one of each kind of seed package to see what the seeds looked like.  Before showing the seeds to the children, I would have them guess what they thought the seeds might look like first…

The children often would guess that the seeds might be the same color as the picture on the package. They also guessed that the seeds were small if the plant looked small or the seeds were big if the plant looked big. Once the children had predicted what the seeds might look like, we would open the package and pour them in a little plastic container for a closer look…

Then we passed around the seeds so the children could take a closer look.  Some of the containers we left open but if the seeds were very tiny, we put a lid on the container to keep them from falling out onto the floor. The children liked feeling, smelling, and looking at the seeds in each container…

Once we had a chance to check out all the seeds, we matched them back up to the correct packages and made sure to label the containers…

Some of the seeds then were set out in our gardening center for the children to explore  a little more freely.  Our gardening center is a project in process but today, we simply used it to explore different kinds of seeds and the packages all the seeds came in…

Most of the seeds in the gardening center ended up all mixed together by the end of the day but the children enjoyed pouring them in and out of the little packages and plastic containers…

I will try to share more about some of the ways we played and used our gardening center in the weeks to come…

And by the way, I set aside and saved the packages of seeds that I want the children to actually plant since I knew they would mix them all up!

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  • corrie Posted March 22, 2012 2:37 pm

    How do you afford to do all these cool projects?

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted March 22, 2012 2:47 pm

    Lots of ways – I ask for donations from local stores and markets, I ask parents to donate, I buy stuff on clearance and save for the next year, I use recyclable items, and I have a budget set aside for priority items I really want to include in my classroom. You just have to plan ahead and learn to ask or seek out what you need.

  • [email protected] Posted March 22, 2012 4:32 pm

    I just love how such a simple activity can be so loved by little ones! I can’t wait to see more ways the children explore the gardening center.

  • Linda Posted March 22, 2012 9:39 pm

    Another activity I love to do with preschoolers is a “seed packet rhythm band” I gather packets of “loud” (large) seeds like sunflowers and “soft” (small) seeds like baby’s breath. Each child gets a packet of each (you may want to seal them with contact paper so they don’t open when shaken). Then I put on music and we shake away. You can also vary this by having them only shake loud or soft or alternate. We always have fun with this!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted March 22, 2012 10:20 pm

    Thanks for stopping by Crystal!

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted March 22, 2012 10:21 pm

    What a great idea! I didn’t even think about integrating seeds into our music this way! My class would love that!

  • Naomi Posted March 23, 2012 10:11 am

    Hi Deborah! What a lovely introduction to seeds and plants and gardening! It’s always interesting to get children’s thoughts and ideas and predictions- I once did a similar thing with fruit of different shapes and sizes, which of course have seeds of different shapes and sizes. We explored apples and manderins and strawberries and grapes. But the most interesting were the fruits like watermelon and pomello- which are very big, but have very small seeds- compared to the mango, which is not very big but has a very large seed! I look forward to following the children’s (and your!) gardening adventures 🙂

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted March 23, 2012 10:29 am

    Hi Naomi – even I am fascinated by the fruits with very large seeds versus very small seeds. It is interesting to discover that such a large seed will produce something so small when a very large seed will produce something so small!! It doesn’t make sense to me at all!! LOL!

  • annie Posted March 23, 2012 2:57 pm

    We did the same, but when we were finished, we put a few of each seed and the name and picture in the clear plastic sleeves similar to sheet protectors that kid store baseball or trading cards in. works well for bugs, etc. too. Then we taped them in the window or clothspinned to mini blinds in the science center.

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted March 23, 2012 9:24 pm

    What a great idea Annie! The children would really be able to observe the growth this way!

  • Linda Hill Posted April 14, 2012 10:25 am

    Hello Deborah,

    I enjoyed reading the introduction into your investigation about seeds. I’m a professor at a small community college in Windsor Ontario and love finding great stories to share with my students. I’m wondering if I can share yours?


  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted April 14, 2012 4:33 pm

    Yes, please feel free to share with your students!

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