Share some veggies!
Here’s a fun, messy idea that gives children responsibility over living things and teaches them about growing vegetables, all while exploring the Understanding the World characteristic. It is best suited for small groups of 2-5.
Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this natural world activity today:
What you will need:
· Soil - you can buy some here.
· Large dessert spoons, enough for one per child (to use as trowels).
· Spray bottle (you can find a good example here).
· Watering/growth chart to help children keep track of caring for the plants. You can find some good examples here.
Preparing the activity:
Set out ‘planting stations’ for each child with a spoon, a bowl of soil and a plant pot. If using trough planters, arrange a few children around each planter.
Doing the activity:
1. Show the children how to half-fill the pots with soil, planting one or two seeds, and filling up the rest of the pot.
2. Using the spray bottle, spray the pots with water and place on a window ledge.
3. Explain to the children that it may take a few weeks for the seeds to start sprouting, but encourage them to keep the soil damp and to watch out for sprouts.
4. Once the seeds start growing, daily or weekly activities for the children could include watering the plants, measuring the growth and counting the number of leaves.
5. Talk to the children about leaves gathering sunlight to give the energy for the plant to grow. If possible, turn the pot occasionally to show how the plants will grow to lean towards the sun.
6. Once the lettuce, beans or peas have grown, make sure to make food or snacks including the children’s produce so they can enjoy the fruits of their labours! Ask the children what they think of the vegetables - their colours, textures and tastes. Encourage them to discuss likes and dislikes and the fun of trying new things.
7. If you have already carried out the Worm Farm activity, some of the produce could be fed directly to the worms. Once the plants have grown, a follow-up activity could be a repotting session, incorporating some of the compost produced by the worms.
Tracking the activity:
Understanding the world: The world: “Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as plants, animals, natural and found objects.; Talks about why things happen and how things work.; Developing an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time.; Shows care and concern for living things and the environment.”