It’s time to get ready for spring ! These 23 garden themed crafts and activities will get your child ready for a fun spring even if the weather still seems to think it’s winter. I can’t wait to get outside and play and learn in our garden more now that it’s getting warmer ( and drier) . These crafts and activities include ones to do inside and others that take you out in the fresh air. Something for everyone!
Gardening For Letters
Spring Garden Sensory Tub
Dirt Dessert Cups
Painting With Bugs
Newspaper & Button Flowers
Milk Carton Bird Feeder
Backyard Photo Scavenger Hunt
Learning About Veggies
Find & Count Bug Hunt
Painting with Nature
Super Simple Bird Feeder
Family Flower Garden
Garden Vegetable Printing
Nature Color Hunt
Kid Friendly Family Garden
Venus Fly Trap Craft
Easy Cereal Bird Feeders
Yesterday the whole family was outside playing and working in the front yard and my daughter ( who is almost 2) was helping me weed. She loved it and after we were done weeding we checked on our carrots that are almost big enough to eat . This all gave me a great idea for an outside sensory filled alphabet activity for our Alphabet For Starters series. What Alphabet for Starters is all about is to play and introduce letters to children just starting to show interest , point them out and recognize them. We try to incorporate other areas of learning into the activities too. Today’s has a strong sensory element and if you want to do this inside you can use a tub and fill it with coffee grounds or rice.
- Gather your materials. To make the carrots you will need an orange pool noodle ( a red one could be radishes too!), a permanent marker, some green ribbon , a knife and scissors. For the rest of the activity you will also need some soil and patch of garden if you are doing it outside or a tub and filler for a sensory bin. Pail and shovel are optional .
- Start by slicing your pool noodle. Bread knives work the very best but our cheap steak knife was ok too.
- Next write letters on the noodles with a permanent marker. You will notice I did not to 26 letters. If your child is capable of staying engaged the whole time with 26 letters by all means do. At 23 months I am not expecting my daughter to stay that focused, this shouldn’t feel like work to her it should be a fun new experience.
- Next cut some ribbon and tie it to the noodle as the top of the carrot.
- Head outside and plant them. All ready for my little carrot farmer!
- Time for a letter harvest. As they picked them we looked for the letter on each carrot.
- She was also counting as we went , perhaps it’s time for a math for starters series ?
- After filling up the bucket we found a few of our favorites ( R and O ) and then picked some real veggies.
Books About Vegetables
Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire and perfect for a letter F eek, since it’s all about food! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you hungry.
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is a rare gem, it has been in print for over 60 years and has delighted generations . If you aren’t familiar with the story, a little boy plants a carrot seed and everyone tells him “It won’t come up.” this doesn’t stop the little boy from patiently taking care of this little seed, that eventually grows into a giant carrot. The message is a universal one of sticking to your guns even when everyone tells you you should give up. My son loved the story the simple pictures that will bring you back to your own childhood, at least they did for me. A true classic.
Coco The Carrot by Steven Salerno is an absurd tale of adventure, and I loved it. Coco is a carrot who dreams of a life larger than the vegetable drawer . She dreams big and goes for it. Unlike most carrots that end up in stew she becomes a famous hat designer and is the toast of Paris with her Monkey companion Anton. If you are scratching your head but oddly intrigued you will like this book. It was long but my son sat with me giggling and telling me ” Carrots can’t do that?!” more than once. I loved it because it is so absurd that she is a carrot, but the story itself is about going for your dreams, hitting bumps in the road and realizing that your dreams shift and change and that’s OK. There is great bits of humor for the adults as well, something I always appreciate!
Are you planting a Spring, Summer,Fall, or Winter garden this season? Obviously this depends on where you live. Here is a fun craft that helps teach your children about the different kinds of vegetables that grow in a garden. I got this idea from my son’s teacher and we did it at home with all of the kids.
You will need two paper plates (for each child), a paper fastener, markers, scissors, and glue.
Draw out some various kinds of vegetables. Be sure to make sure you have root veggies and surface veggies. Oh, and no laughing at the drawings. I never claimed to be an artist.
Let your child color in the vegetables. We got silly and I said that carrots are blue. She was quick to correct me and inform me that I must not know my colors well. Then she offered to teach them to me. So we went through all of the colors. It was fun.
Cutting these out can be a little difficult, so be sure to let your child know it doesn’t have to be on the lines.
Draw a line through the middle of both plates. Have your child cut along the line of only one of the plates. Close enough counts here, too.
For the other plate, color one half blue for the sky and the other brown for the ground.
Now glue the vegetables on the plate. This is a great time to talk about the different ways the plants grow. We also talked about the different ways they are harvested, too. Some are cut, some are pulled.
Take the plate that was cut and label the halves “Tops” and “Bottoms”.
Attach the halves to the decorated plate. Now the halves slide open and reveal the top growing vegetables and the bottom growing vegetables.
The kids are even more excited for our garden to start producing now. We are all prepared to pick/pull the vegetables. Some recipe ideas were also suggested by the kids.
Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
My daughter is 13 months old and loves to listen to me sing. Shocking I know. I am not known for my singing talent, though I do love to see her face light up and how she reacts to the actions and lyrics. This ladybug song is great for summer and we sang it after catching and releasing some ladybugs in our backyard . Your kids don’t care how you sound, so sing . The goofier the better , if I can post it here for all the world to see you can do it in your own home.
I’m a little lady bug, see my spots
I crawl around your garden and in your flower pots
I’ve got some wings that help me fly
And catch those aphids buzzing by!
We’ve made some fun Ladybug Crafts too.
Rock Ladybugs- A great summer craft!
Paper Plate Ladybug – great for little ones.
Ladybug Math – a counting craft!
Sensory bins are such great teaching tools and for this one I wanted it not just to look like a spring garden but to feel like one too. So we stuck with earthy natural colors, all natural contents ( minus the tongs and pots) and talked about how we can ( and will) plant some of the beans from the bin and track it’s growth. The big lima beans we used are big enough to be a chocking hazard for little ones so remember to only use contents that fit your children’s specific level of development.
- Gather your materials. You will need some dried split peas, large dried Lima beans, dried orange lentils, dried white beans, mini bow tie pasta and some small flower pots. You will also need a tub – this one was a dollar at Walmart.
- Start by pouring the dried beans and lentils into the tub.
- Next add a handful of butterflies ( the dry bow tie pasta).
- Add some mini flower pots and explore.
- My son was fascinated by the lima beans , they are not a staple on our dinner table.
- You can simply scoop and pour with the flower pots
- Or grab some tongs and sort and count.
Books About Gardening
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is a story about a tiny seed who unlike the other seeds from his flower makes it against all odds to continue the cycle of life. I really enjoy this book and love how it shows all the obstacles along the way for a simple little seed. Carle’s distinctive collage will keep your children marveling at the illustrations while learning about plants.
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Is a really touching book that I would happily recommend for school age children. It’s a beautiful story about a little girl during the depression who is shipped to the city to work in her uncle’s bakery because both her parents are out of work. She is obviously nervous but knows that it’s something she has to do. She takes a little of the country with her in seed packets which she plants in the city while she learns about baking and becomes friends with her uncles employees. This is more a story about making the most of hard times, and would be a great way to talk about the great depression with your child. There are so many little things in the illustrations by David Small to talk about , from a picture of FDR to traveling by train and the general sense of sadness . In the end it’s a warm hearted book that I can’t wait to share with my son in a few years.