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GARDENS

GROUP FLOWER GARDEN
Using a green marker or crayon, draw rows of stems and leaves across a large sheet of light blue paper. Let your children use one or more of the suggestions below for making flowers. Then have them glue their creations to the tops of the stems to create a garden.
Tear construction paper and tissue paper into “flower” shapes.
Flatten and decorate paper baking cups with crayons or markers.
Trace and cut flower shapes out of construction paper, gift-wrap paper, or wallpaper.

 
COLOR GARDEN MURAL
Cut a variety of flower shapes out of three or four different colors of construction paper. Also cut pictures of the same colors of flowers out of seed catalogs, if available. Mix up the flowers and place them in a box. Then invite your children to sort the flowers by color and glue them together on a large piece of brown or green paper (all the red flowers together, all the blue flowers together, and so on) to make a color garden. Display the garden mural in your room when the children have finished.
 

VEGGIE GARDEN GAME
From felt, cut out five or more each of different veggie shapes, such as carrots, radishes, squash, and cucumbers. Mix up the shapes and place them in a pile. Let your children take turns sorting the veggie shapes by kind and “planting” them in separate rows on a flannelboard or a carpet.
 
SEED BOOKS
Using heavy paper, make a five-page book for each of your children and number the pages from 1 to 5. Give each child 15 large seeds, such as unshelled sunflower seeds, and some glue. Help the children name the numerals on their book pages and glue on corresponding numbers of seeds. When they have finished, let them make decorated covers for their books.
 
PLANTING GARDENS

Let your children try one or more of the gardening ideas below. Encourage them to care for their gardens by watering and weeding. Some suggested seeds: marigolds, beans, peas, and radishes. (Check a local nursery for other easy-to-grow seeds for your area.)
Eggshell Garden: Plant seeds in eggshell halves placed in an egg carton. When the seeds sprout, plant them—crushed shells and all—outdoors.
Windowsill Gardens: Plant seeds or seedlings in small containers. Group the containers together in decorated shoeboxes and line up the boxes on a sunny windowsill.
Container Gardens: Plant seeds or seedlings in containers outdoors. Use one container for flowers and one for veggies.

 
MORE GARDENING FUN
Together, act out how a seed grows into a flower or a veggie.
Recite the nursery rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.”
Use fingers or tweezers to sort several varieties of seeds into separate bowls. (Note: Activity requires supervision.)
Hold up child-size gardening tools and have your children act out how to use each one.
 
PLANT THE GARDEN

Tune: “Frere Jacques”

Plant the garden, plant the garden.
Watch it grow, watch it grow.
Count the pretty flowers,
Count the pretty flowers
In a row, in a row.

Plant the garden, plant the garden.
Watch it grow, watch it grow.
Count the yummy veggies,
Count the yummy veggies
In a row, in a row.
Heather McPhail

Before singing, arrange felt flower and veggie shapes in rows on a flannelboard. Count the shapes at the end of each verse.
 
GARDEN SNACKS
Let your children help put together a garden fresh salad using such foods as lettuce, tomatoes, celery, radishes, and cucumbers. Serve with a favorite dressing.
Help the children make an herb garden by planting herb seedlings, such as sweet basil, marjoram, and chives, in an indoor container. Let them add the fresh herbs to salads, spaghetti, and homemade pizzas.