This past week, we learned all about seeds, plants and flowers in tot school. On many occasions, Ethan and I have tried to grow plants or flowers. After six months and no sprouts, I get the clue. Ethan, on the other hand, sticks with optimism. Above his toy kitchen in front of our window sit a few pots -- none of which are actually actively growing anything -- and each day he checks to see if today is the day they start sprouting. I may have a black thumb but figured maybe I could learn a thing or two with Ethan. He's been increasingly interested in plants -- how seeds grow into something so big, how grass drinks -- that it seemed like a fitting week to transition to after weather week last week.
GARDENING SENSORY BIN
I filled a tub with some potting soil, some cheap dollar store seed packets, a little shovel, some gardening gloves, fake flowers and some dollar store pots. Ethan got to pretend to garden, pot some plants and "grow" some seeds into beautiful flowers. He had a lot of fun with this tray often throughout the week and could sit and play with it for hours! By the end of the week, he placed some puts full of artificial flowers near the windows and told me they're our new tot school garden plants.
GROWING A CARROT TOP
Learning about plants gave us lots of fun opportunities to do some cool experiments. This one I was totally skeptical about, so it was interesting to see it truly worked! We cut the tops off some carrots and Ethan got to soak some cottonballs with water. One of our carrot tops didn't make it, but the other continued to grow tall, bright and green by the end of the week! We'll probably keep this one going just to see how big it will grow.
LIMA BEAN GREENHOUSE
I'm pretty sure everyone remembers growing lima beans at some point in their school career. This is the second time we had done this -- the first time being when Ethan was about a year old and it didn't really pan out. Good thing he didn't remember. For this one, Ethan decorated a little greenhouse. He kept the design simple, just writing his name on the top. He dampened the cottonballs and added them to the ziplock bag with the lima beans. We attached the ziplock bag to the greenhouse and taped it to the window. So far no sprouts, but we're not giving up hope yet.
We had been talking about how roots are much like straws, and they drink up the water when the plants are thirsty. This was the perfect activity to show Ethan exactly how that worked. We added food coloring to the different jars of water and let the celery drink it up.
I printed both sets of these cards from Homeschool Creations. Ethan got to put them in order as we learned about how a seed sprouts and the different parts of a flower. He really enjoyed doing this tray, especially seeing how the seeds sprout.
I had gotten a bunch of cheap seed packets and let Ethan sort them into different groups. At first he sorted them into different piles and then he started sorting them in different ways (by color, size, shape). I included some tweezers for fine motor practice as well, which he loved using.
CIRCLE THE CORRECT LETTER
For this one, I made some printables with different plant related words and Ethan got to circle the letter each word started with. He really enjoyed this one!
LIMA BEAN PATTERN RECOGNITION
I had glued some lima beans to a piece of paper and Ethan got to recreate the patterns of the beans. He had fun with this one, sometime creating the pattern under, sometimes over, sometimes on top of -- and sometimes adding to the pattern in his own way.
This was Ethan's favorite activity of the week! I glued some different seeds onto paper and made little seed "packets." Ethan got to practice his letter writing by writing the names of each fruit or vegetable underneath where I had written it. He also got to draw a picture of each fruit or vegetable too. His favorite part about this tray was being able to see what fruits and vegetables each tiny little seed turned out to be!
NUMBER WRITING PRACTICE
We do a lot of letter and word writing, but I wanted to start introducing number writing, too. Ethan had other plans -- this tray got no use this week!
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