On Monday, my wonderful coworker, Teresa, and I partnered together to offer a gardening program for preschoolers. The day was warm and sunny — prefect park weather — yet about 70 people showed up for this program. It was so much fun! And really simple! Here’s what we did:
We decided to start off with a storytime. This was a great idea, because there are always a few late comers to every program. By starting with a storytime, by the time we got to the actual gardening part of the program, we had everybody and everyone started on the same page.
Also, as most of you probably know, I gave up themes ages ago. It takes a very special program for me to break out a storytime theme, and this was one of them.
My Garden by Kevin Henkes
What Does Bunny See? by Maggie Smith
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres
Alfie in the Garden by Debi Gliori
This was a great assortment of books. We were able to practice our colors with What Does Bunny See? We stood on tippy toes, crouched down low, and spun around with Up, Down and Around. And Alfie in the Garden had the kids acting like animals.
Flower Color Matching:
I did a very simple flower color matching activity with the kids. We had five colors total (blue, red, orange, yellow, green). Each child got one flower, then waited until I called their color to come up and place their flower in a hat. It’s an oldie, but goodie. And the kids really enjoyed it.
Five Green Peas in a Pea Pod Pressed Fingerplay:
Five green peas in a pea pod pressed (make fist)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (count on fingers)
They grew, and grew, and did not stop! (extend arms wide)
Until one day, that pea POPPED! (clap)
Four green peas in a pea pod pressed…
TIME TO GARDEN:
After storytime was over, everyone headed over to our program room where we had all the supplies necessary to start a small garden that the kids were able to take home.
Teresa was in charge of getting the supplies for the program. I believe she got them from Lowe’s (but it could have been Home Depot…one of the two). We had flowers for them to plant, as well as biodegradable pots, potting soil, and a few seeds for those who wished to plant a seed. Here’s how we organized the gardening portion of the program:
- We had every family grab some newspaper and spread it out on the floor.
- We passed out small bowls and souffle cups.
- People came up to get a flower and/or seed, and they filled their bowls with potting soil.
- They then went back to their newspaper area and used the souffle cups to transfer the soil to their potted plant/seed.
- We had measuring cups by the sink, so once the plant/seed was planted, children came up to the sink and used the measuring cups to water it.
- Lastly, we had paper bags on hand for parents to put the plants in to save it from spilling over in their cars.
Overall, this was an AMAZING program!