The three year old Greece preschoolers celebrated spring by learning how plants grow and getting their hands directly in the dirt! The teacher placed a large container of dirt and available gardening tools on the table. There were trowels, watering cans, Popsicle sticks, pom-poms and trays for each child to explore.
The teacher first explained how farmers plant their seeds in the spring and suggested how the children could use the pom-poms to represent seeds. After burying their seeds, Popsicle sticks were used as markers to note the kind of seeds planted; teachers wrote the names of the plants the children wanted to grow. Silk flowers were also available for the children to put in the dirt to show the results of flower seed planting.
Understanding the process of plant growth is much easier for young children to understand with hands-on learning opportunities. These types of scientific experiences also promote small motor skills and hand / eye coordination. Some children enjoyed using the tools to move, scoop and dump the dirt. Others enjoyed a full sensory experience and dug in with their hands to bury their seeds and feel the dirt!