You will love this preschool lesson – Letter G is for Garden. It is so much fun because your little students will plant their very own garden! All it takes is a paper cup, some dirt and a dry lima bean. This lesson includes a FREE PRINTABLE tag for their gardens.
I have taught this preschool lesson several times and only once did my bean plant not sprout. That was my fault. The dry lima beans I used were old. After that failed attempt, I made a mental note to always buy a fresh bag of lima beans. Nice thing, with all those unused beans left over it gives me an excuse to make my favorite dish, Lima Beans and Pork.
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Letter G is for Garden Preschool Lesson
What we learned about seeds and plants:
- Stems grow up – roots grow down – this simple fact is new to many 3 year olds. Watch the joy on their faces as they learn!
- Plants grow from seeds.
- How to plant a garden:
- Dirt – seeds get planted in dirt. Preparing the dirt for the seeds is the first part about making a garden. You must loosen the soil and remove roots and large debris.
- Worms – God put worms and bugs in the earth to keep the dirt loose. Don’t be scared of worms. They are friendly and it is OK for them to be there.
- Stones – a few small stones can also stay. They are good for gardens. They help the water to drain through.
- Seed – plants grow from seeds. We plant seeds in the dirt and they will grow into plants someday.
- Sun – seeds and plants need sunlight to help them grow.
- Water – seeds need drinks of water. They get those drinks from rain or people can water them.
- Patience – the seed that you planted will come up but it takes a few days. Watch and wait. It will come up soon.
Timing: I planted my lima beans about a week before I taught this lesson. It took 3-5 days to see the plant peek above the surface. After it did, progressive growth could be seen every hour. Lima beans grow fast! [ By the way, if you don’t have lima beans, dry kidney beans work, as well.]
Make “My Garden” Tags: To make this activity special, I made “My Garden” tags and glued them on craft sticks for the kids to put in their cups. I printed a sheet of the tags on white card-stock and laminated them first, to protect them from moisture. Next, I cut the tags out and glued them on the craft sticks using white school glue.
Here is a copy of the garden tags for you to print and laminate:
How to Grow a Lima Bean Plant
Dry Lima Beans
Dirt – prepared
“My Garden” Tags
Using a skewer or a ballpoint pen, poke 3 – 5 holes in the bottom of each paper cup for drainage.
Dig some dirt from your garden.
Prepare the dirt by sifting through it by hand. Remove debris, roots, bugs. You may leave the worms in the dirt if you would like to.
Print, laminate and make the My Garden signs.
Bring the dirt, seeds, cups and signs to school along with 2 or 3 large serving spoons.
Have your children spoon dirt into their cups about 2/3 way full.
Have them poke their finger into the middle of the dirt and drop one lima bean in it.
Scoop one more bit of dirt on top of the seed, covering it.
Now they can put their sign into the cup.
Instruct your students and their parents to water the plant when they get home. Remind them that they need to have it on a plate. There are holes in the bottom of the cup and the dirty water will drain out. You can have your children water their plants in school if you are going to keep the gardens there but if they are traveling home with them it may be best for them to wait.
“BYE BYE PLANT!” Eventually, someone is going to get tired of having a lima bean growing on the kitchen counter. When you and your child are ready to say “goodbye” to it, first soak the dirt with water and slowly pull the plant out so that your little one can see what the roots look like. Remember the preschool lesson: roots grow DOWN, stems grow UP!