Growing Gardens while Growing Minds


With the spring season also comes the natural provocations of nature, growth and gardening! The toddler class started their gardening exploration with a bean and pea experiment. Planting beans and peas into a Ziplock baggie allowed the toddlers to observe the growth of the root and stem at each step of growth. Every morning the toddlers take a moment to look at the beans which are hanging in our window and watch the changes taking place. A chart beside our windows helps us to track the growth and progress and allows us to reflect on each stage of the process. 

We have recently begun planting seeds into soil in hopes that we will be able to eventually transfer the seedlings into our garden! We planted tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. The children gathered as a group around the table, then they each had a turn to fill a small seedling pot with soil, pick a seed variety and plant it! We placed our seeds in a small greenhouse on our windowsill and .... oops! It was knocked over that same day. We unfortunately lost our first round of seeds before we were able to observe any growth. This is okay, as it's all part of the learning process. We salvaged what we could and planted more seeds the next day, but this time including some pumpkin and pepper seeds. The toddlers continued enjoying getting their hands messy as they dug into the soil to scoop it up and fill their seedling pot. This time we decided to keep our plants up on the counter for now and the toddlers are learning to observe them with careful hands. As we planted our different types of seeds, some time was spent observing and comparing. Wow, the pumpkin and zucchini seeds are big, while the pepper and tomato seeds were so tiny, and the cucumber seeds fell somewhere in-between for size. We also noticed different shapes, the bean and pea seeds looked the same as the beans and peas we might eat at lunch, they are round while the other seeds were flat!

As the weather continues to warm up, we can bring more of our gardening outdoors. Our seedlings are not ready to go outside yet, but the garlic we brought in was ready! One Monday morning educator Jung brought in some sprouted garlic cloves. First, she tilled the soil in our outdoor garden beds and a few friends were excited to help her, using a hoe they dug through the dirt to loosen the soil before planting. Rows were then made in the soil and the children were given cloves to plant.

Throughout the spring, summer and into the beginning of fall, the toddlers will continue to build a sense of ownership for our garden as we continue to plant, water, care for and eventually harvest from our gardens!

child putting seeds into soil