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Gardens

Choose your Garden

Flowers * Fruit
Legume * Vegetable

*Flowers

*Fingerplays/Songs

Here’s a green leaf,
(show hand)
And here’s a green leaf,
(show other hand)
That, you see, makes two.
(hold up two fingers)
Here is a bud,
(cup hands together)
that makes a flower;
Watch it bloom for you!
(open cupped hands gradually).

Flowers Grow
This is the way the flowers sleep,
(make fists of both hands)
Through the winter long.
This is the way the flowers grow,
(open hands)
When they hear the robin's song.
(raise arms up high as they represent full grown flower)

*Art

Collage Flowers
Need: scraps of brightly colored construction paper, glue, crayons, markers, construction paper.

Give each child a piece of construction paper. Encourage the children to use the brightly colored scrap pieces to create flowers on their paper.

After the "flower collages" are dry, staple (left side) a sheet of paper on the back of of collage to create a book. Ask the child what he/she would like to say at their flower collage, child writes or an adult writes what child says.

Flower Petal Designs
Need: toilet paper rolls, construction paper, bright paint

Have the children glue pre-cut flower pot shapes onto the bottom of a piece of black construction paper. Dip a slightly flattened toilet paper roll into brightly colored paint, and stamp it onto the paper, stamping the "petals" in a circle, creating a flower design. The children can paint a stem, or use a green pipe cleaner for a stem. Use sponges cut as leaves for the leaf stamp, finishing off the activity.
Contributed By: Terra Vaughn

Blossoms

Sponge paint blossoms on crayoned tree trunks drawn on construction paper.

Easel

Cut easel paper into flower shapes.

*Learning Centers

Flower Arranging

Artificial flowers and containers can be placed in the dramatic play area. The children can make centerpieces for the classroom tables.

Sensory table

Add sand (or soil) and plastic flowers to the sensory table.

Can place water and watering cans in the sensory table.

*Science/Math

Flower Cards
catalogs, magazines, file folders or cardboard cut to be cards , glue

Let the children construct flower picture cards. Have the children look through catalogs and magazines and cut out pictures of flowers. Glue the pictures onto old folders or cardboard.

When finished the cards can be used for sorting: Place a variety of colors of construction paper on the table and have the children sort the flower cards by color. Count the number of flowers by each color. Can create a graph. Place pieces of construction paper (can tape together and fold) and flower cards in a bag and place on the math table.

Flowers

Place a variety of flowers on the science table. The children can compare the color, shape, size, and smell of each flower.

Flower Shop
Silk flowers, flowerpots, watering cans, gloves, plastic vases, seed packets, styrofoam balls, cash register, telephone, paper pads and pencils.

Children can stick the flowers into the styrofoam balls and put them into the vases. This eliminates the need for dirt or potting soil. Set up one part of the area as the flower arrangement area and a growing area. In another part of the area have the cash register, telephone, and pads for taking orders for the flower arrangements. Include pictures of flowers that have been cut from magazines as the flower shop brochure.

Planting Seeds

Plant flower seeds in a styrofoam cup. Save the seed packages and mount on a piece of tagboard. Place this directly behind the containers on the science table. The children can compare their plants. When the plants start growing compare the seed packages to the plant growth.

*Other Sites

Printables
Flower Sequence Cards to Print - planting, growing a flower

Circles flower-trace the circles

*Fruit

*Learning Centers

Vegetable-Fruit Stand

Set out a variety of plastic fruits and vegetable. Set up a shopping area with carts, cash registers, and play money. Provide a balance scale for children to weigh the produce.

*Legumes

*Fingerplays/Songs

A Peanut Sat on a Railroad Track (song)

A peanut sat on a railroad track,
Its heart was all a-flutter.
Engine Nine came down the track,
Toot! Toot! Peanut butter!

*Art

Climb Right Up!
 Need: Brown and green construction paper, scissors, markers, glue.

Invite children to cut, tear, and draw pictures of beans, bean sprouts, and bean stalks to decorate under the window in the science area. Encourage children to think about what they might find if they could climb to the top of their bean stalks.

*Movement

Grow like a bean!
Great activity to do after reading the story "Jack and the Beanstalk".

Need: Cassettes of rhythmic instrumental music.

Can children imagine they are magical, growing beans? Put on the music and encourage them to move their bodies as if they were just sprouting and then growing into strong, tall plants.

*Vegetable

*Science

Colored Celery

In clear containers place several celery stalks with leaves. In each container add water and drops of different colors of food coloring. The leaves of the celery should turn colors in a few hours.

Try splitting a celery stalk in half, but do not spit the stalk all the way up to the top. Put one half of the stalk in red water, and the other half in blue water. Watch what happens to the leaves.

*Movement

The Big Turnip-Creative Dramatics

After reading the story "The Great Big Enormous Turnip",
dramatize the story. Pass out identifying pieces of clothing for each character. Hats work well for people and collars or signs for the animals. Retell the story, letting the children act the story out. Use as many characters as you have children. This would be a good outdoors activity.

The Great Big Enormous Turnip Movement Activity

Pair children and tell them to face each other holding hands. One child, pretending to be the farmer, stands straight. The other child pretending to be a turnip, squats.

The farmers chant:

Grow little turnip,
grow sweet.
Grow little turnip,
grow strong.
I'll pull and pull
and pull and pull,
'Til you pop right
out of the ground.

On the last line, the turnip pops up and the farmer squats down. Let children change partners after each round.

*Potatoes

Science

Sweet Potato Plants

Help children insert 3 to 4 toothpicks horizontally around the middle of a sweet potato. Then balance the toothpicks on the rims of glass jars and add enough water to cover the bottom parts of their potatoes.

Keep water filled to this level. In about 2 weeks vines will begin to sprout and the children will have sweet potato plants.

Movement

Potato Hop
Cut ten large potato shapes from brown construction paper and number them from 1 to 10. Tape the shapes to the floor in from number 1 to 10. Let the children take turns hopping from one potato to the next as everyone chants the rhyme below.

One potato, two potato,
Three potato, four,
Five potato, six potato,
Seven potato, more,
Eight potato, nine potato,
Here is ten.
Now let's start all over again.

*Watermelon

*Art

Watermelon Art

Give each child a green construction paper circle and a red construction paper circle (slightly smaller). Have the children glue the red circle onto the green circle. Then have the children glue watermelon seeds or black paper punch circles all over their red circles.

Use the recipe"The Best Cooked Play Dough" and add watermelon flavored kool-aid or jello.

*Science/Math

Sink or Float

Have students predict whether or not the watermelon will float in a tub of water. Record predictions and then place the watermelon in the tub of water

Weight
Have each student lift the watermelon and estimate how much it weighs. Write down the estimates and check with a scale.

How Many Seeds?
Have each student estimate the number of seeds in the watermelon. Write down predictions. After the watermelon is cut and eaten, be sure to save all the seeds. In groups have the children place 10 seeds in a cup. Then gather the cups and place the "tens" into hundreds and figure out the final total of seeds.

Planting watermelon Seeds
Have children plant watermelon seeds in egg cartons, small cups, or small milk cartons; use potting soil.

*Other Sites

National Watermelon Promoting Board

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