Deuteronomy 16:15

Deuteronomy 16:15
For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gardening Unit

With the weather warming up, and us spending much more time outside, we have been cutting back on the amount of school that we've been doing. Even though it's been scaled back, we still have done some very fun things! Our theme for the month of May was gardening. We based our studies off of Jolanthe's Garden Preschool Pack, and all of the printables you see are from there. We read all sorts of books to do with gardening, seeds, flowers, and growing. Our favorites books were Jack's Garden, by Henry Cole, and From Seed to Plant, by Gail Gibbons.

To kick off our unit we went to Lowe's and bought some new planters, soil, seeds, and flowers!

We scooped the dirt.

And ate the dirt! Yum!

What's a gardening unit without eating a little bit of dirt?? Washing it down with water made it all better! ;-)

With the weather being warm we spend TONS of time out on our deck. Here Naomi was putting sequence strips in order to go along with the story Jack's Garden. We did this many times, and was an excellent skill for her to practice. It was not only a great reinforcement of what order things happened in the story, but also of the stages of seed to plant.

Playing a matching game with our garden vocabulary cards.

Sorting seed packets based upon type.

Our first sensory tub. It was a hit! We used it in many different ways. The first was to just let Naomi explore and play with it, and use her imagination.

The other thing we did with our sensory tub, was to use it to reenact the story of Jack's Garden, and thus the stages of seed to plant. Here Naomi made rows in the soil, and was planting her pretend seeds.

Pretending to water her "garden".

Tending her growing plants.

Acting out the part of the story where the birds came to visit the garden.

Another view of our sensory bin and some of the tools we used with it. This was the first time I did a sensory bin and it was a lot of fun! If you aren't sure what a sensory bin is, just Google it!

Nathan liked the sensory bin too, but he was only allowed to play with it outside!

We did the celery in colored water experiment to show how water travels up the veins of the celery from the bottom to the top.

It's hard to tell in this picture, but it actually worked out pretty well. When you looked closely you could really see where the water had traveled in the veins of the celery.

We planted bean seeds exactly like it said to in our book. Bean seeds are supposed to sprout quickly and be a great way for kids to see the process. Ours totally bombed. All they did was rot.

Round two with the bean seeds! The people that did their seeds this way had sprouts within 24 hours. Ours did nothing. Epic fail. Again. Maybe I shouldn't have done a gardening unit?? lol Oh well, we watched a time lapsed video of seeds sprouting so we covered it that way. Who needs real life when you have YouTube?? Aaahh well, you can't say I didn't try. *sigh* To preserve my self-confidence I'm blaming it on a bad batch of bean seeds. ;-) We did plant marigold seeds and they are growing beautifully!

Here Naomi is using clothespins to mark the letter that her vocabulary words began with.

We also spent lots of time playing outside and in the mud!

Of course Nathan is a part of just about everything we do. I believe he gets a lot out of it in his own way. However, I do try to plan some things that are specific just to him. I have been talking with him about things that are soft or hard, quiet or loud. Here he is transferring these large pompoms into a metal bowl. While he did this I talked to him about how the pompoms were soft, and very quiet when we put them in the bowl.

Now Nathan is all boy, so to keep his attention I mixed it up a bit and started tossing the pompoms into the bowl. He thought that was great and LOVED throwing them in!

When we were done with the pompoms we pulled out his little, wooden blocks. This time I talked to him about how the blocks were hard, and how they were loud when we dropped them in the bowl. It was good I did these after the pompoms because he loved the sound the blocks made as he dropped them it. Had I done these first, I think the pompoms would have been anticlimactic.

Of course after you put something in, you must dump it out!

We also practiced stacking the blocks on top of the bowl. I was amazed how well he did with this! He always impresses me with how well coordinated he is. He liked stacking the blocks, but his favorite part was knocking them down!

You always hear about the terrible twos and how horribly kids behave. This was not our experience at all. Personally, I think age one to two is what is challenging behavior wise. Granted, I haven't raised any teenagers yet!! By one children have reached the age where you need to start setting some limits, mostly for things that relate to their safety. What is always challenging for me is finding that balance between setting those limits, but keeping it appropriate for their age and understanding. That's why I think this age is harder. By two, limitations and consequences are established, and I didn't have to question whether or not Naomi understood. Anyways! All that to give a background to this rather hilarious picture. Nathan was just firmly told no as he was getting into my end table where I keep my breathing treatment stuff. He makes the most horrible face when he's not allowed to get into something! I couldn't resist taking a picture because it's cute and adorable in it's own way. By the way, two seconds after this picture he was back to his smiling, happy little self. :-)

Here you have a little summary of some of the things we did this past month. I wasn't able to capture everything, but you get the idea! We really enjoyed our gardening unit, and I feel like Naomi has an excellent understanding of what plants need in order to grow. She also learned all the parts of a plant, and has fun pointing different parts out when she finds a flower or plant outside. Despite our bean seed failures, it was a very successful unit!

Check out what others are doing at Preschool Corner and 1+1+1+1! I am not doing a theme unit for June since we are spending so much time outside, and have family coming to visit. I do however have some fun little activities planned to keep things exciting around here. I will share them later this month as I find the time. Until then!


1 comment:

Fiona said...

Great activities. We are doing a gardenning theme too this month. I wanted to use the stuff from that website too but need ink in my printer! x