Pollination games

Pollination can be a rather difficult concept to learn–after all, do the bees eat the pollen, or the nectar?  And why is pollination so important anyway? Well, let’s get our facts down, so we’re all on the same page.  When a honey bee lands on a flower, it uses its long tube-shaped tongue (called a…

Why does a tomato have so many seeds?

This activity would be a great to do towards the end of a seed unit, once students have already learned about what a seed needs to grow and also seed dispersal.  I love the connections made and the discussions that often happen here, even with very young students. Start out by asking students to predict…

Sing the world a little cleaner

If you haven’t had a chance, you may want to check out these other pages I’ve written with activities about recycling and composting: Composting 101 (what does it mean when something decomposes?) Kids, Compost, and Critters (how do you start a compost bin and what critters are helping the process?) Talkin’ Trash (activities about reducing trash and litter…

Talkin’ trash! (reducing trash and litter)

After these last postings about compost, it seems only natural to teach about reducing trash and litter.  Here are some activities, including poems, coloring pages, online videos, songs, and hands-on explorations, to make this topic fun and thought provoking. Watch a Fascinating Short Video  Watch the teaser video for the movie The Landfillharmonic, where children…

Composting 101

The topic of composting is huge, and a pretty great jumping off point for about a gazillion subtopics.  From composting you could easily move to exploring different types of soils, composting critters, vermicomposting (composting with worms), the benefits of organic gardening, or waste reduction/conservation.  I’ll eventually post activities  on all these topics, but for today I’ll start…

On all things rotten! (decay)

Composting is a huge topic, and one that I used to feel a bit overwhelmed by the thought of teaching.  But I’ve collected a bunch of hands-on, interactive activities to really help students visualize the processes at work. I feel that before you even talk about the compost pile, it’s best to provide some background lessons….

Flower Activity–Pressing Flowers

    Pressing flowers is a great way to preserve a moment of summer beauty.   Once pressed, you can use them to create bookmarks, necklaces, collages, or simply glue them into a scrapbook or journal. I like to start by making a fun activity out of collecting the flowers, creating either a scavenger hunt…

Create a Rain Garden

Originally posted on Two Barn Farm:
Got rain on the brain? It hasn’t been very rainy yet, but it sure will be again soon. Have you thought about where all that rain water is going to go? Rain gardens will capture the rain water and get into the ground where it belongs! Every time it…

Learning through Scavenger Hunts

One of my all-time favorite activities to create is the scavenger hunt.  There are so many ways to use a scavenger hunt as a tool of exploratory learning in the garden.  I’ve used scavenger hunts to: Teach students to recognize the plants in their garden plots (ex:  find the cucumber plant, find the carrot plant,…

Kale Chips (yum!)

YUMMMMmmm… one of my favorite aspects of gardening with children is their excitement at tasting the vegetables.  Since they have had a part in growing and harvesting the vegetables, kids are much more excited to taste the fruits (or vegetables) of their labor.  This recipe is a great way to introduce kids to kale, a…

Stem Activity–classic celery dye experiment and some new variations

This experiment is so satisfying because it shows great results in just a few hours.  Demonstrate how stems transport liquid with the classic celery experiment, and then extend the experiment with a couple interesting variations. First off, pick celery with leaves still attached, as it will quicken the process and also show more dramatic results….

Root activity–Grow a sweet potato

Start off with a firm sweet potato from the grocery store.  If it has little buds already, great!  The potato will grow even faster.  I like to start off by asking students if they think the potato is alive (it is).  Then I would ask what part of the plant students think the potato comes…