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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Planting Seeds

If space permits, plant outdoors. Otherwise, place soil planters indoors. Plant some vegetable seeds (radish, beans, etc) together. Identify plants by pasting seed packages on planters. This will help the children recognize the plants as they emerge from the soil.

Sorting Beans

Mix together several shapes and colors of large, dried beans. The children can sort the beans by size and color and count the beans. Watch the children carefully, BEWARE OF CHOKING!

Growing Season

Talk about how the seasons are different in different parts of the world and because of that different types of fruits and vegetable grow in certain climates and seasons. Find a listing of when fruits and vegetables are in season in your area.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Potato Printing

Cut potatoes in half, have the kids help you carve shapes and designs into the potato halves, provide them with smocks, paint on trays and paper. They can then paint and print using their designed potatoes

Going to a Garden

Visit a garden (flower or vegetable), or a farmers market- talk about the foods and how they grow and are harvested. If possible visit a u-pick garden so that the children could have the chance to find vegetables, pick them and purchase them.

Eating My Vegetables

Vegetable Soup or a Veggie Tray (have the children help prepare the vegetables (wash, peel, cut, chop). For vegetable soup use the vegetables of your choice (potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, beans, tomatoes, beets, squash, peas, etc.) and simmer until tender in chicken or vegetable broth

Little Seeds Lie Fast Asleep

"Little Seeds Lie Fast Asleep" Children's Songbook #243- LIttle seeds lie fast asleep in a row, in a row. “Wake up, wake up,” calls the sun, “Wake up now and grow.” LIttle seeds wake one by one in a row, in a row. Then they stretch up toward the sun and begin to grow.
Listen or download, search by title: http://www.lds.org/cm/display/0,17631,4766-1,00.html

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Gardening Tools

Place garden tools in a sandbox area outside. Let the children experiment with raking, hoeing, digging, tilling, etc. and watering the dirt like gardeners do.


Place gloves, large hats, pretend vegetables and flowers, brown butcher paper for dirt (or a blanket), gardening tools, basket for collecting harvested food. The children can pretend play like gardeners planting and harvesting crops.

Fill and Guess

After showing and discussing several kinds of fruits and vegetables with children, place the fruits and vegetables in a bag. Individually let children reach in a touch one item. See if they can guess what it is before pulling it out of the bag. Older children may even be able to describe it.

Gardens Journal Page

Read a book about gardens then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What would you plant in your garden?" Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.

Click on the image to view and/or print.

Rooting a Sweet Potato

Push toothpicks halfway into a potato. Place it in a glass of water with toothpicks resting on the rim. Make sure the end of the potato is immersed in water. Place glass where it will receive adequate light. Maintain water level so that the bottom of the potato is always immersed. In a few weeks roots will grow out of sides and bottom and leaves with grow out of the top. The plant can be left in water or replanted in soil. Children can observe root growth.

Gardens Lesson Plan

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Feeling the Farm

Provide materials in the sensory table for the children to make a barnyard. You could include soil, hay, farm animals, barns, farm equipment toys, etc.

I thought it might be helpful to see the sensory table we use. We got it from Lakeshore Learning, but there are several differnt sand/water tables around. You could also use little tubs or containers. I also thought it would be helpful to see how I set it up. I love to put the sensory table outside if it is an option so that any spilling, which always happens, is not as big of deal.

Our Farm

Provide clothes and props (hats, scarves, overalls, boots, a horse saddle, buckets, stools, pretend animals or animals costumes, etc.) for the children to pretend play that they are farmers.

Visiting the Farm

Take the children on a field trip to the farm to the observe the animals and the equipment. Make sure you discuss each animal while you are there. Look at and touch the animals fur and skin, as well as what they eat. Talk about how each animal is helpful to us.

Ice Cream Shop

You could also set up an ice cream shop with signs, cash register, pretend ice cream, bowls, spoons, etc. Talk about how ice cream is dairy & come from cows.

Buttermilk Chalk Picture

Brush a piece of cardboard with 2 to 3 tablespoons of buttermilk or dip chalk in buttermilk. Let children create designs using colored chalk as a tool.

Farm Animals Journal Page

Read a book about farm animals then hand out a journal sheet with this question on it: "What types of things do you enjoy that we have because of farm animals?" Record the children's responses and let them draw a picture to go along with their response.
Click on the image to view and/or print.

Farm Animals Sort

Collect plastic farm animals. Place them out and encourage the children sort them according to size, color, where they live, how they move, how they help us, etc.

Making Butter

Fill baby food jars half-full with whipping cream. Allow the children to take turns shaking the jars until the cream separates. First it will appear like whipping cream, then over-whipped cream, and finally an obvious separation will occur. Then pour off the liquid and taste. Wash the butter in cold water in a bowl several times. Drain off milky liquid each time. Taste and then wash again until nearly clear. Work the butter in the water with a wooden spoon as you wash. Add salt to taste. Let the children spread the butter on bread or crackers to sample it.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

What farm animal day would be complete without singing this classic!
Old MacDonald had a farm, Ee i ee i o. And on his farm he had some cows, Ee i ee i oh. With a moo-moo here, And a moo-moo there, Here a moo, there a moo, Everywhere a moo-moo. Old MacDonald had a farm, Ee i ee i o. (Others: pigs-oink, chickens- cluck, dogs-woof, sheep-baa, horses-neigh, etc...)

Trikes, Wagons and Wheelbarrows

Talking to children or read a book about how farmers use wheelbarrows, tractors and wagons to haul things, like hay or even animals. Place trikes and wagons outside for the children to haul things from place to place just like farmers do.

You might want to teach them how to use the wheelbarrows too! ;)

Exploring Farm Items

Place farm items out for the children to feel, weigh, look at (with a magnifying glass) and explore. Items could include: an ear of corn, hay, sheep wool, turkey feather, hard-boiled eggs, container of milk or other dairy product (sealed tightly), wheat kernels,etc.

Farm Animals Provide

Talk about how each type of farm animals helps us by providing things like food (milk, meat, eggs, etc) or clothing (wool). Let the children examine various types of wool that we use: wool clippings, lanolin, dyed yarn, yarn spun into thread, wool cloth, wool articles (mittens, socks, sweaters, blankets).

Tasting Dairy Products or Cheese Types

Plan a taste testing party for the children for them to compare different types of food: dairy products (cow milk, goat milk, cream, skimmed milk, whole milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, butter, buttermilk, etc) or cheese (swiss, cheddar, colby, mozzarella, cottage cheese, cheese curds, etc.)

Farm Animals Lesson Plan

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Visiting Flowers

Arrange to visit a local floral shop, flower gardens or botanical gardens (we have gone on field trips to all of them and have really enjoyed the flowers). Observe and talk about the different kinds of flowers and where they are grown. Ask the florist to demonstrate making a bouquet or corsage.

Pressed Flower Collage

If possible collect lots of small flowers as a class. Press and dry them between sheets of parchment paper underneath a heavy object (such as a large book). When they are try, allow the children to glue them onto paper to make collages. Pictures of flowers can be substituted for real pressed flowers.

*Note that you should keep the flowers in a dry place while pressing. Our flowers got a little moldy and lost most of their color*

Flower Shop

Set up with any of the following props: plastic flowers, boxes, containers, watering cans, misting bottles, cash registers, plastic vases, etc. Encourage the children to make flower arrangements, display, sell and package the flowers.