Preschool Playdate: How does your garden grow?
We built this theme around spring planting. The playdate was on April 9, 2015. We got to watch our seeds grow through the month of April. As soon as the kiddos arrived, they would go check on the progress of their “garden”.
You will notice that there was a lot of dirt involved in today’s theme! Drop cloths were the order of the day. We also needed lots of damp cloth wipes on hand for all the kiddos that don’t necessarily like their hands dirty.
— Welcome song in English (emphasizes printed name recognition as Sweet Peas find their card in a line-up and place it on our Name Ledge)
— Welcome song in Spanish (reinforces names as Sweet Peas sing to their peers)
— Discussion of theme
— Unsquiggle activity
— Poem/Song before we break for Centers
I feel it is important that children understand where their food comes from. The two books we shared this day emphasize the idea of “farm to table”. We used the “The story of seeds” by Richard Scarry to start off our discussion of the theme. During Story Time, I read the Spanish translation of “Growing Vegetable Soup” by Lois Ehlert.
The children could use the popsicle stick or their fingertips to draw letters in the dirt. I tried to make mud – didn’t work out so well. We scaled this from the first letter of their name for beginners; kiddos with more writing skills could write their whole name. I always lay out all the names so that the Sweet Peas have to find their name, which reinforces name recognition. It’s amazing how this becomes their first “reading” activity – after several months of finding their own name, they can also recognize their friends’ names.
Vegetable counting today! The printouts are free line drawings from the internet. I printed them on cardstock and laminated them for durability.
Level 1: Parents order the baskets and have the Sweet Peas count out the number of vegetables that match.
Level 2: Children order the baskets and count out the vegetables that match.
Options: Have the child sort vegetables and fill their baskets with only one kind of vegetable, or create a pattern as they place them on the numbered card.
There were two activities today:
Make and Take: planting grass seeds to water and grow at home
ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was another free line drawing from the internet; printed on yellow paper. The Sweet Peas could plant as many sunflower seeds as they wanted to onto their picture.
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY: Seed Match
These are tiny containers from the dollar store. I am addicted to these – so handy for lots of different things, especially making games! I printed pictures of the mature plant on the lids. The Sweet Peas could match by lid, by seed if they flipped them over to see the clear side; or you could play by having one half turned up and one half turned over, and then check your matching.
It also allowed the opportunity to talk about the size of the seeds and the size of the grown plant.
We finish our Preschool Playdate with a sharing time: each child that wants to share gets to say what (s)he enjoyed the most about the morning – planting was the big hit on this day.
We close with a good-bye song where children are welcome to give hugs. It helps to set a formal end to the time together so that parents have a clear reason to insist that it’s time to go if they have somewhere to be afterwards. Otherwise, the kiddos and parents that don’t have to leave stay and play until the music teacher for our older Sweet Peas arrives.