Garden Science Activities to Plant a Love of Learning

There is nothing more exciting than seeing a seed sprout and grow. It is still exciting to me as an adult, and that excitement radiates down to our little ones when they observe this for the first time. With these garden science activities, we will sprout from the excitement of growing a living plant to discover many new things about plants!

5 Engaging Garden Science Activities for Preschool

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Garden Science Activities

Plant Life Cycle

All About Plants: Life Cycle with life cycle poster, plant being measured by linking cubes, growth chart, and life cycle flap book.

Ever since we planted seeds, it is the first thing that my daughter runs down to see in the morning. The excitement is real! To build some background knowledge, first I read the “Plant Life Cycle” booklet, which introduces children to the concept with simple text and pictures. Then, we sequenced the life cycle using the “Life Cycle of a Plant” poster with separate cards. Once we had a seedling popping up above the soil, we charted our plant’s progress using the graph, which includes spaces to record the height, number of leaves, and a picture.

Tip: Make your plant pots out of an old water bottle. Just use a utility knife to cut the bottle about two inches from the bottom. Next, drill holes in the lid to allow excess water to run through, which, with toddlers watering, there will definitely be extra water. Finally, flip the portion of water bottle with the lid upside down inside the bottom. Add gravel, soil, and seeds and patiently wait for that first sprout!

  • Use senses to gather information about living things.
  • Collect, describe, and record information about living things through discussion, drawings, and charts. 
All About Plants: Needs of Plants with sensory bottles, song card, and "Plants Need" / "Don't Need" sorting cards.

The perfect introduction to any new concept is…a song, of course! I love making up songs and chants for my students. It helps them remember the concept and gives us something to hum along to while learning. To introduce the needs of plants, we first sang the song “I’m a Little Seed” several times. Then, we looked over the diagram to discover the four main necessities of plants. As an independent activity, the students looked at sensory bottles filled with gold glitter and pompoms for sunlight, blue water and glitter for water, soil, and iridescent glitter for air. Finally, they sorted the cards into the categories “Plants Need” and “Don’t Need” based off of what they had learned.

  • Identify the common needs such as food, air, and water of familiar living things.

Parts of a Plant

Parts of a Plant with diagram, miscellaneous items in a serving tray, and flowers build out of items with large arrows pointing to each part of the plant.

Looking for a hands-on way to learn the parts of a plant? Provide your students with miscellaneous items such as golf tees, popsicle sticks, applesauce caps, linking chains, pompoms, rocks, etc. for them to build a plant. Then, use these extra large arrows for them to label their creations! It is so interesting to see what they come up with!

  • Collect, describe, and record information about living things through discussion, drawings, and charts. 

Plant Parts We Eat

All About Plants: Parts We Eat with cards to sort into Fruit We Eat, Seeds We Eat, Roots We Eat, Stems We Eat, Leaves We Eat, and Flowers We Eat.

I seriously have never thought about which part of the plant I am eating. Crazy! When we did this activity the first time, I used guiding questions to help the kiddos figure out which plant parts we eat. For example, “What do you notice about stems? Can you find any foods that are long and skinny like stems?” Then, I left it out in the science center for them to complete independently.

  • Collect, describe, and record information about living things through discussion, drawings, and charts. 

Sunflower Life Cycle

Sunflower Life Cycle poster with cards to sequence (seed, sprout, seeding, flower).

Sunflowers are such majestic flowers, standing so tall in bright gold. It is my dream to see a field of sunflowers at sunset. Ahh, one day. But for now, we learned about the life cycle of a sunflower by first matching the numbers on the cards to the mat. Then, we used just our background knowledge of plants (how they start as seeds, sprout, and grow bigger and bigger) to sequence the cards without numbers.

  • Predict, explain, and infer patterns based on observations and representations of living things, their needs, and life cycles.

More Garden Activities

I hope that you and your little ones can truly grow a love of learning about plants by planting your own seeds and watching them grow. Let me know if you need anything to make these activities work for you and your students. Just email me here, and I’d be happy to help!

Don’t forget to check out more engaging garden activities for your classroom!

Garden Literacy Activities for Preschoolers
Garden Math Activities for Preschoolers
Garden Fine Motor Activities
Garden Science Activities for Preschoolers
Garden Books for Preschoolers
Flower Shop Dramatic Play Center
Garden Preschool Bundle with pictures of each activity.

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