Even after the gardening season comes to an end, there are still many lessons to be found spending time out in nature. This project involves a seed scavenger search which I have found that children of all ages adore! Children love the idea of exploring nature, and looking up close at all sorts of flowers and vegetables and discovering the seeds inside.
Using the children’s innate sense of curiosity and wonder, this activity teaches them valuable lessons about seeds and helps to increase their observation skills.
What you need:
- Pencils or crayons & journal (for older children)
- Paper cup
- A few examples of seeds
- Magnifying glass (optional)
Next describe the activity:
“We are going on a garden adventure! Our job is to find as many different types of seeds in the garden as we can!”
Showing some examples, discuss the types of seeds in the garden such as:
- Large seeds, like the nut of a tree.
- Small seeds, like the seeds of a dandelion or ornamental grasses.
- Seed pods, such as iris, beans, or pods of a honey locust tree
- Seeds that fly, such as milkweed.
Let the children freely explore on their garden adventure, letting their curiosity and excitement guide them around the space. As they become distracted, as children often do, gently guide them back to the activity. I say something like “Wow! Look what I found!” or “Look! I’ve never seen THIS before!” a lot because kids never want to miss out on anything!
Have the children collect their findings in a little cup as they roam the gardens. Once they’re finished, have them bring the little cups of seeds back to examine closer. This is a great time for some follow-up questions or for identifying the seeds (for older children).
Examples of follow-up questions:
- What colors are your seeds?
- What shapes are your seeds?
- How do your seeds travel? (by the wind, animals eat it, it falls to ground)
- Why are seeds important?
- What will your seeds grow into?
Fun song about seeds!
Ok, so I like to make up songs. A lot! This is one we made up for this lesson… It is sung to the tune of “Oh My Darling”.
Oh my pumpkins, oh my taters, oh my peas on the vine
You once were just a seed, that I planted in a line
Oh my kale, oh my carrots, oh my flowers so divine
All you needed, was some water, some sunshine and time.
It often helps to kick this project off by reading a book about seeds. These are some of my favorites: A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, and A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds by Jean Richards.
Have a fabulous adventure!