Set a plant in a corner of the daycare, where children are sure to notice it. Begin a conversation about plants. Name the different parts of a plant. Ask children if they know how to take care of a plant so it will grow and be healthy. Fill a container with plant (or flower) seeds. Seal the container. Leave it on the table for children to discover.
Hang artificial plants from the ceiling. You can find several different kinds in department stores and they usually are fairly inexpensive. Display pictures of plants and flowers on the walls. Children will enjoy admiring them throughout the theme. Cut a variety of shapes out of green construction paper and secure them on the floor using Mac-Tac. Use the shapes to create a path children can follow to go from one area of the daycare to another. You may use our model. (Open plant shape) Print several copies and invite children to color the shapes.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with your group. Use them to decorate your daycare or a thematic corner. (Open picture game-Plants) Print, laminate, and store in a "Ziploc" bag or in your thematic bin.
(Open writing activities-P like plant) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open activity sheets-Plants) Activity sheets are suggested for each theme. Print and follow instructions.
Have fun with these wonderful workshop ideas provided by Caroline Allard.
- Different sizes of empty flower pots can be used to make towers.
- Your small workbench can be used to build flower boxes.
- Assembly and gear games for making flowers and plants.
Arts & crafts:
- Decorate your arts & crafts corner with pictures of flowers and plants. They will inspire children for their creations.
- Cardboard, tissue paper, empty egg cartons, recycled materials and imagination to create all kinds of colourful flowers.
- Provide pipe cleaners, drinking straws, and Popsicle sticks for stems.
- Fabric flower petals or real dried flowers can be used to make collages.
- Paint plastic flower pots and use them to display the flowers children will make throughout the theme.
- Stencils with flower, plant, and garden shapes.
- Coloring pages involving flowers and plants of all kinds.
- Drawings to which children can add glue and seeds (flower, plant, or other types of seeds).
- Set up a corner which looks like a flower shop. Include ribbon, transparent paper for wrapping, fabric flowers, unbreakable vases, etc. Add pictures of bouquets and flowers.
- Set up a gardening corner. Include a variety of gardening tools (toys), watering cans, empty flower pots, etc. Add gardening gloves, a sun hat, a hose, and knee protectors.
- Memory game with educatall.com picture game.
- Homemade puzzles with pictures of plants or store-bought puzzles related to the theme.
- Create a scent game by placing cotton balls inside small containers and adding flower scents. You may also add other scents which children are familiar with.
- Illustrations of plants and flowers along with tiny containers with seeds n them. Children can associate the illustrations to the correct seeds.
- Plant and flower illustrations. Have children sort them by color.
- Modeling dough with leaves, plants, and artificial flowers which can be planted in the dough. You can use rose essence to add a flower scent to your modeling dough.
- Books about plants, flowers, gardens, etc.
- Gardening magazines. Ask parents if they have any they can share with you.
- Flower illustrations to decorate your area.
- Plants and flowers children can trace.
- Games in which children must search for differences between two flower or plant illustrations.
- Hunt and seek games.
- Various activity sheets related to the theme.
- Games with educatall.com word flashcards.
- Obstacle course. Children carry a plant or flower in their hands.
- Act out a growing plant...from the seed in the ground to flowering time.
- Musical flower game. Stick colourful flowers on the floor of the daycare...the possibilities are endless.
- Create a flower hopscotch game. Draw flowers instead of numbers.
- Container filled with dirt and gardening tools along with small containers for filling, pouring, digging, etc.
- Container filled with dirt for planting a miniature flower garden. Start your garden indoors then bring it outside to pursue the experiment.
- Flowers and plants for transplanting.
- Experiment how a flower changes color when left in a vase containing water and food coloring.
- Make your own miniature greenhouse and observe how plants grow for a few days...or a few weeks.
- Edible flowers.
- Visit your local flower shop or garden centre.
The flashcards may be used to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing area, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Plants) leaf, stems, soil, pots, seeds, flower, buds, watering can, petals, roots, green, rocks
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Stand in a circle. Select two or three types of flowers. For example, have two or three children represent daisies, two or three other children represent roses, and the other children represent tulips. Say, "Daisies, move!" The children who represent daisies must quickly change places. Continue the game.
Plants in the wind
Deposit a large quantity of fabric leaves and artificial flowers on your parachute. Shake the parachute to make them fly in the wind.
Tell children they are a tiny seed in the ground. They curl up in a ball. Then, tell them that it is starting to rain. They begin to move but remain curled up in a ball. Announce that the seed is beginning to grow and that you can see a small green leaf popping out of the ground. Children can raise their head and their upper body. State that the sun is shining and the seed is beginning to grow, and grow. Children stand up very slowly. The seed becomes a beautiful flower. Encourage children to stretch and find an original pose. Then, tell your group that the wind is blowing. Children keep their feet on the ground and sway from one side to the other.
Divide your group into two teams. Have each team sit at a table. Deposit one large sheet of paper and crayons on each table. Play music. The goal is for each team to have time to draw a flower field before the song ends.
Cut out several construction paper flowers and deposit them on the floor. Give each child a butterfly. You must have one flower and one butterfly of each color. This game is played much like musical chairs, but without competition. Children walk around the flowers until the music stops. When the music stops, each butterfly must find its matching flower. Before starting the music once again, children may exchange their butterflies. For younger children, you can play with only two colors of flowers and butterflies. As they grow and are able to distinguish colors, add one color at a time.
Purchase a disposable camera. Take a walk in your neighbourhood with your group and let them take turns taking pictures of plants, flowers, or trees.
Garden obstacle course
Use your garden furniture to create a maze. Tell children they must find their way out of the flower garden. Deposit obstacles throughout the maze. You can, for example, tie a rope to two chairs and invite children to crawl under it or climb over it, without touching it. Place a bucket of water on a chair and tell children they must crawl under the chair, like a worm.
ACTIVITIES INVOLVING PARENTS
Ask parents to provide pictures of their flower bed, garden, or indoor plants. Display them on the wall and invite children to present their pictures to the group.
Ask children's parents if gardening is one of their pastimes. If so, invite them to teach your group about taking care of plants.
Garden centre visit
Ask parents to join you for a visit of your local garden centre. Show children new plants, flowers, and trees.
Magnifying glass game
(Open magnifying glass game-Plants) Print and laminate the board game and the cards. Cut them out and store them in a box or in a Ziploc bag. Children pick a card and search for the item on the board game, using a magnifying glass. Once they have found the item, they deposit it in the correct square, on the board game.
Educ-same and different-Plants
(Open educ-same and different-Plants) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the illustration which is different in each row.
Educ-big and small-Plants
(Open educ-big and small-Plants) Print and laminate the game. Children must place matching illustrations on the board game in the correct order, from smallest to biggest, using Velcro or adhesive putty.
(Open educ-association-Plants) Print the game. Glue the first two pages inside a file folder. Cover with Mac-Tac. Laminate the illustrations and cut them out. Stick a piece of Velcro behind each illustration and on each illustration on the board game (you may also use adhesive putty). Children associate the illustrations. When they have found the correct association, they simply stick the card in the correct place.
(Open educ-math-Plants) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must count the objects in each rectangle and circle the corresponding number.
(Open educ-pattern-Plants) Print and laminate. Add Velcro to the back of the cards. Children must correctly place the cards to complete the patterns.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Give each child a small card with a flower illustration. Each card must have a double. Invite children to find their partner, the child holding the card with a matching flower. Together, children try to identify the type of flower. Play music. Children are dance partners. When the song ends, redistribute the cards and start all over again.
My favourite flower
Encourage children to look at books containing several types of flowers for inspiration. Invite them to draw their favourite flower. When they are done, they can present their drawing and explain their choice.
Deposit several types of bulbs in a sensory bin. Let children manipulate them and observe them with magnifying glasses.
My flower box
Fill a container with dirt and add gardening tools, plastic flowers, and an empty watering can (to avoid messes). Children will enjoy planting the flowers in the dirt.
A plant is alive
Find two plants which look alike. Place one plant in the sun and water it regularly with your group. Place the other plant in another area with no sunlight. Do not water it. Observe the differences between the two plants and discuss. Identify what plants need to grow.
Grow, grow, grow
Give each child a Ziploc bag. Let them deposit a cotton ball in their bag. Provide bean seeds and have them place them on the cotton ball. Let them add a small quantity of water. Tape the bags to a window. In just a few days, changes will occur. Variation 1: You can try the same experiment using small yogurt containers and dirt. Place the containers on a windowsill. Don't forget to water your seeds. Variation 2: You may also use a Styrofoam glass. Have children draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Use grass seeds. Children will love to see their character's hair grow!
Step by step guide to planting seeds
(Open Step by step guide to planting seeds) Display.
ARTS & CRAFT
A plant's leaves
(Open plant shape) Print for each child. Ask children to cut the leaves and glue them on the plant model.
Hang a large white paper banner on the wall. Provide several gardening magazines. Let children cut out pictures of plants, gardening tools, and other objects related to the theme. Have them glue them on the banner.
(Open plant shape) Print for each child. Deposit several different types of seeds in the center of your arts & crafts table. Let children cover the plant shape with seeds. You may ask children to color the plant before adding the seeds.
Plant and flower mobile
(Open craft-plant and flower mobile) Print, cut out, and color the plants and flowers to create a mobile. Hang them from a hanger using different lengths of string. Display within the daycare.
Glue plant leaves (fabric or cardboard) on a large piece of cardboard. Let children paint over the leaves with poster paint. Once dry, gently remove the leaves. You will discover beautiful leaf prints.
The sun helps flowers grow
(Open models Circles) Trace the circles on yellow and orange construction paper. Trace a larger circle on the orange paper and a smaller circle on the yellow paper or vice versa. Children cut out the circles and glue the small circle on the larger circle. Have them cut strips of construction paper to represent the sun's rays. Help them glue the rays all the way around the sun. When they are done, they can add a smiling face.
Use empty egg cartons to make tulips. Have children paint each cavity a different color. Use pipe cleaners for the stems. Plant the stems in a green Styrofoam block (floral foam).
(Open creative coloring-Plants) Print for each child. Ask children to draw a plant or flower. (Open coloring pages theme-Plants) Print for each child.
SONGS & RHYMES
O tiny seed
by: Patricia Morrison
sung to: O Christmas tree
O tiny seed, O tiny seed
Thy leaves will soon be growing
O tiny seed, O tiny seed
Thy leaves will soon be growing
A little sun and water too
I love to take good care of you
O tiny seed, O tiny seed
Thy leaves will soon be growing
The Educatall team