Growing plants is incredibly beneficial for kids.
They breathe in fresh air and soak up healthy sunshine.
They get some exercise.
They enjoy some bonding quality time with the rest of the family.
They learn awesome skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Planting develops fine motor skills for toddlers.
It’s also a strengthening gross motor activity for toddlers.
Keeping a seed journal really helps to bring home the scientific lessons that the gardening nature school teaches our kids. It’s fun, creative, and reinforces those crucial scientific skills of observation and drawing conclusions.
Homeschooling parents, grab this opportunity for some hands-on learning experiences! For homeschool kindergarten, toddlers and pre-school aged kids they can learn the basics of observation and recording – and relish practicing their art skills. Older homeschooled kids can strengthen and further develop their current scientific skills by performing various seed sprouting experiments that will truly reinforce those plant cycle lessons. More on this coming soon!
Seed journals should be magical. Encourage good observation and data recording practices, but let this also be a place where your kid can experiment, both scientifically and artistically.
How to make an awesome seed journal:
You will need:
A notebook of blank paper
Loads of art materials in all the colors of the rainbow
Sprouting seeds: in the garden, in a jar with cotton wool, or in garden pots
Ruler or measuring tape for older kids
Strip of sturdy cardboard for younger kids to mark plant growth on
Magnifying glass (this is a favorite!)
Here’s how you do it:
Mark pages with the date.
Record the plant type and size. Younger kids might opt to simply record information with illustrations. Or, mark the sturdy strip of cardboard with the plant’s current height, and keep it as a bookmark in the notebook.
Make a record once a day, every second day, or even once a week.
Write a few lines of comments and conclusions. For younger kids, you could verbally discuss the growth and then record the important for them. Or, again, they could record their thoughts with illustrations.
Celebrate entries by decorating them with stickers. Or, hold a “plant race” to see which plant reaches a predetermined height first. Reward the plant with a portrait, complete with colorful, congratulatory stickers as “prizes”.
If the weather is pleasant, encourage your children to complete all their entries while they’re in the garden: seated at an outdoor table, on a picnic blanket with hardcover books for support, or even lying on their stomachs in the cool, fresh-smelling grass. Being outdoors isn’t just healthy for the body; it’s relaxing and therapeutic for the mind, and stimulates creativity.
Finally, why not surprise your kids with the U+ME children’s gardening set to use on their fun gardening adventures! Our kit includes everything a young gardener needs for growing plants to learn from in the garden: child sized gardening tools (a high quality, metal-tipped spade, rake and trowel), a small watering can, biodegradable peat pots for seedlings, plant labels and a canvas garden tool bag to keep it all in.
Written by Rifke Hill
About the Author
Rifke Hill was raised on the sort of farm your grandparents told tales about – milking cows, gathering eggs, hoeing the soil, and building fires to heat water. She now spends part of her time copywriting online as a freelancer. The rest of it is spent nurturing and teaching her four energetic children, growing vegetables, baking bread, reading voraciously, having coffee with the neighbors, and enjoying the sunny slopes of the smallholding where she lives, in the Garden Route, South Africa.