Preschool farm activities include a lot of fun with learning about animals and tractors, fruits and vegetables but what about learning about the seeds that grow into the food we eat? It’s easy to add some seed packets to your preschool farm theme science center.
Or, if it’s spring time, why not add a seed investigation to your plants and gardening preschool theme. Either way, this post contains ten ways to learn about seeds in your farm science center.
LEARN ALL ABOUT SEEDS IN PRESCHOOL FARM THEME SCIENCE CENTER
One of my favorite farm theme activities is investigating seeds. It’s perfect for your farm science center, but works well for small groups and is an excellent farm circle time activity, too!
Have you ever seen the awe in a young child’s face when they see a real seed grow from being teeny tiny to big and tall, and then producing food we actually eat or plants we can visually enjoy? At first they seem to think it is magic as a seed grows into a plant right before their eyes, so using a farm science center is a great way to encourage that awe and maybe inspire curiosity.
FAQ About Teaching About Seeds in Preschool
A seed contains a miniature plant, called an embryo. This is the beginning of a new plant. The outside of the seed protects the embryo and is called the seed coat. The inside of the seed has food for the embryo. This food is important for the plant to grow.
Seeds have to be cared for very carefully to grow into a new plant. They need nutrients, sunlight, and water.
Gardening and planting seeds are excellent physical and sensory activities for toddlers and preschoolers, too.
Children can practice their locomotor skills, body management skills and object control skills by carrying tools, soil and water from one place to another. They will be using their large muscles to move around, and using muscles to balance and manage objects too.
Fine motor skills such as whole-hand grasping when using tools and the pincer grasp when planting individual seeds are employed while gardening. Further, being outdoors in the fresh air and moving around a lot is a good way to get exercise, and the feel and smell of the soil provides sensory input.
One of the greatest benefits of exploring seeds with preschoolers and planting seeds is that the children learn the importance of taking care of the seeds while observing their growth. Preschoolers cane be involved in the entire process, and if using a vegetable seed, they get to pick their plant and eat it too!
Printables Related to Seeds and Food We Grow
SEED ACTIVITIES IN PRESCHOOL FARM THEME SCIENCE CENTER
While I typically include this science center in my farm theme, it is equally as appropriate for a plants and gardening preschool theme, too.
- A variety of seed packets
- Snack size zip-top baggies
- Magnifying glass
- Tray (to keep the activities together)
THE SET-UP FOR THE SEED ACTIVITIES
The set-up is simple. Just open each seed packet and pour the contents into a snack size zip-top baggie. Seal the baggie, and if you have toddlers or young preschoolers who might open the baggies, then tape them closed. Be sure to put the seed packet itself in the baggie as well.
Be sure to select a wide variety of size, color, and textures for your seeds. Your preschoolers will take notice of all those attributes.
Place the seed packets on a tray with a few magnifying glasses and invite your preschoolers to observe and investigate.
LEARNING ABOUT SEEDS WITH PRESCHOOLERS
The first time I offer this seed activity I like to do it during circle time. As I mentioned, it makes an engaging farm circle time activity, but it also teaches preschoolers how to properly handle our new seed center so that we can keep learning fun.
Give each preschooler a seed packet and a magnifying glass. You might need to demonstrate how to use the magnifying glass because preschoolers tend to think it goes right against their eyes, and then invite your preschoolers to talk about what they see. Kids will love this part!
Encourage your preschoolers to describe what their seed looks like. After all, it’s probably different from their neighbors’ seeds. Seeds come in all sizes, textures, and colors, and you want your preschoolers to notice those differences.
You might need to help get the conversation started. Sometimes preschoolers don’t know they have the words to describe what their seeds look like. Ask them about the following:
- How big is your seed? (small, medium, large)
- What color is it?
- Is it bumpy or smooth?
- Does it look dry or wet?
- Have you ever seen a seed like this before? (It might look like a seed we can eat).
Best Picture Books About Seeds
One of the best way to finish a learning activity about seeds is to read the children some picture books about how seeds grow. These picture books can then be added to your seed center for preschoolers, or kept in the reading nook for free choice centers.
MORE WAYS TO CONTINUE SEEDS INVESTIGATION IN PRESCHOOL
After an initial discussion in circle time, add all the seed packets to your farm theme science center, or seed or gardening science center, depending on the time of the year. This activity can also be a stand-alone science center, but here are some other ways to dive a little deeper into learning about seeds during your farm theme.
- Add non-fiction picture books about plant growth and farming to your science center. (Did you catch the recommend books above?
- Allow children to draw pictures of their observations.
- Encourage the children to talk with one another about their seeds. A science center shouldn’t be quiet!
- Sort the seed packets into groups by several different attributes. Color of fruit or vegetable, color of seeds, size, texture, etc. Your preschoolers will learn that the seeds can be sorted in many different ways.
- Scatter some extra seeds on top of a shallow bin of soil and invite the preschoolers to use their magnifying glasses to look for the seeds. Ask them what kinds of seeds they think they see.
- Invite your preschoolers to use the picture books to make matches to the seed packets.
- Add some cut-up fruits and vegetables to the preschool science center so preschoolers can see the seeds in the foods they eat. Just be sure to cover each piece of food in cling wrap. The preschoolers touching the foods will make them spoil faster, and I like to put them in a paper bag in my fridge so we can use them for a few days.
- Create a farm themed small world play set and include larger seeds as manipulatives.
- Or make a farm sensory bin with seeds as a base.
- Make photocopies of the seed packets to add to your dramatic play center. Preschoolers can pretend to plant the seeds on a blanket or piece of felt.
The possibilities are endless. Just remember that young children benefit from sensory play, pretend play, and dramatic play, so look for ways to include those in all the other fun activities in your preschool seed theme.
There are so many fun ways for preschoolers to learn about seeds during their preschool farm theme. And remember, any of these seed activities would be equally appropriate for a plants and gardening theme, too!
Which seed activity did your preschoolers enjoy the most?
FREE SEED AND FARM THEME LESSON PLANS
These lesson plans are already done for you. Just print and teach!
MORE FARM ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOLERS
I’ve put all my BEST farm activities in a single place, making it extra easy for you to do your preschool lesson planning. Activities include farm animals, farm life, farm art and more.
Be sure to grab all the free printables while you’re there, too. Click the link below!
The above is a fantastic collection of farm activities for preschoolers, but here are some of the most popular.
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I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.