Garden Activities for Preschoolers: 25+ fun ideas for 3 to 5 year olds (2023)

25+ super easy, super fun gardening activities for preschoolers that involve STEM and arts education and an active, green life!

Spring is here, which means it's time to get the kids outside and let them enjoy the sun and fresh air and learn about nature.

As the days get warmer, the trees turn greener and wildlife thrives, it's a great time to enjoy some gardening activities with your kids.

Gardening with preschoolers is fun and educational!

When I worked as a teacher and educator for young children, I dedicated myself to the warmer weather, going outside and gardening with the little ones.

And if you have something to do on a rainy day, a garden theme fits well this time of year too!

The garden is a wonderland for your toddler with lots to do, explore and learn.

Preschool garden activities and ideas

Seriously, there are endless gardening activities for kids this age!

And most gardening activities also have many benefits for your kids. It's easy to spend hours playing in the comfort and close proximity of your own backyard while teaching and supporting your childmotor skills, sensory development and their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

If you need inspiration to plan your gardening activities for the season, you've come to the right place.

I have put together some great gardening activities for preschoolers that you can do in the garden with 3-5 year olds.

These crafts on the theme of garden,toysand learning activities will bring out your child's green fingers (and any help with gardening is fine with me!).

And if you need more ideas, Imagine Childhood has oneenviable collection of botanical products for childrenand activities to complement these ideas!

Kids will love these gardening activities, and any task that takes them away from a screen is great! Being creative and enjoying the fresh air is good for me.

In addition, gardening is a great way to teach kids basic science.

let them meetinsects, plants andAvein a practical way, learning can be fun. In my experience, you can incorporate age-appropriate math, science, and arts-based learning activities into the garden.

There are so many ways to create an engaging lesson on topics that encourage exploration and self-study with a minimal amount of materials.

We jump!

Garden Activities for Preschoolers: 25+ fun ideas for 3 to 5 year olds (1)

25+ great spring garden activities for kids

Check out these fun and creative backyard themed gardening activities and projects your toddlers will love this spring!

#1 Help your kids plant their own hanging basket

A garden is beautiful because of the plants and flowers that adorn it. What better way to help your preschooler appreciate this than by helping them grow?

Depending on how much space you have in your home, you can allocate a flower pot, a hanging basket, or even a corner of the garden for your child to take extra care of. You can also entrust them with the care of the pot at the endthis hide and seek game for outdoor games!

Make it even more attractive by letting them choose the seeds they want to grow at the garden center or choose the colorful garden plants and help them plant them.

You can also choose a theme for your plants, e.gSeeds that attract birds to your garden!

You can even plant a sensory gardenaromatic herbs, also each with a character to identify which is which.This herbal posteris a great addition to help them learn what's what. And growing herbs could lead to a discussion about the different ways we can use them, such as:herbal remedies, herbal tea and aroma of our dishes!

You'll love seeing the changes as the first shoots sprout from the ground. And activities for kids like these that encourage responsibility and empowerment really help with independence.

I recommend using pre-grown plants for younger children rather than starting from seeds as they are not always the most patient.

Also, letting them choose the color of the flowers is a really fun activity!

Another really fun option is to grow edible flowers, which can then be used to decorate plates all summer long!

And then let her go further into townthis coloring poster with garden and butterfliesto color your favorite flowers!

#2 Grow your own vegetables

If a flower garden isn't your thing, your kids can create a vegetable garden instead.

This requires a little more space and, depending on the type of vegetable, a deeper place than a pot.


Many fruits and vegetables are best planted in spring, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes.

As well as developing your kids' nutritious side and patience, growing vegetables in your own garden is also a great way to encourage a picky eater to add some new foods to the menu too!

Don't forget to label some crafts and have your preschoolers make a sign for each plant to label what you planted!

And make sure you discuss growth cycles and what plants need to grow, using engaging, age-appropriate language to help them learn.

#3 Water the flowers

During a long, hot summer, flower beds may need a few waterings a week, so use the springtime to teach your toddler how to do it!

One hose can be (and can be) too much for themtempting to play), but a cute kid sizeaguaNorteg canit will be perfect for you. ManyGarden sets for childrenThey are also equipped with a shower.

Be sure to talk to your children about how plants and seeds need food and water to live, and maybe even how the sun helps them grow.

#4 Stomp on muddy puddles

This activity isn't specifically gardening, but it is related gardening and is great fun for almost all children.

Spring weather can vary between glorious sunshine and unexpected downpours, but make the most of the rain by stomping through puddles with your little ones.

Yes you heard me! Encourage your kids to get outside and splash and jump in puddles (without worrying about the mess!)

If you know you're going to walk through a puddle, you need to be prepared.

Make sure your child uses itwater bootsja rain suit, and there's no problem with how much they squirt!

It doesn't have to be in your yard, you can take a fun walk through the puddle to the park or even along your street.

An easy way to incorporate math and science into this activity is to bring a ruler with you during your puddle exploration.

As they explore, let your kids measure each puddle to find the deepest and the shallowest.

Instant math activity and tons of learning with almost no materials while enjoying the great outdoors.

#5 Make cress heads

If planting vegetables that take weeks (or even months or years) to bear fruit isn't for you, start with simple, fast-growing seeds like watercress plants.

This is an easy gardening craft that even the most novice gardener can try!

You can also make a simple watercress pot out of used egg shells. Just fill the pots with cotton and sprinkle the seeds on top. Add water and voila, in a few days they will start to sprout!

You can get really creative and allow your kids to draw faces on the eggshells to incorporate an artistic theme.

When the cress matures, the plant looks like a fun green hair!

This is a great gardening chore if you only have access to an indoor area or need to work indoors on a rainy day!

Another option for the indoor garden is this oneKit "My First Garden"for children.

#6 Garden-themed scavenger hunt

Preschoolers love to hunt for things, so why not let your kids do a scavenger hunt for things in the backyard?

A garden-themed scavenger hunt can stimulate curiosity about the world around them and encourage imagination and early scientific research.

If that sounds overwhelming, there's no need to complicate it.

It doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't even have to be written.

Just send your kids on challenges to find things.

It could be as simple as a leaf or a flower.

You can increase the stakes and level by getting more specific.

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Find a hand that is larger than your hand.

Try to find a red flower.

This gardening activity is easy and can be a great way to develop early math skills. Ask your child to count 3 stones or 4 blades of grass.

Or let them find large, medium and small items to compare.

Have them look up tiny, small, medium, large, huge, and gigantic to encourage them to use some Level 2 words, or short and long (blades of grass) and large and short (flowers, etc.).

For derived projects, you can name the collected parts (e.g. flower and plant parts).

#7 Beautiful worm

That sounds like a kid's version of the snake charmer using a musical flute to make the creatures dance!

But the worm charmer is one of the most fun garden activities for kids.

The goal is to get the worms to the surface of a field, patch of grass, or some dirt without digging for worms.

Encourage them to get creative by using musical instruments or pots to pound and pound vibrations. Discuss how worms can respond to sound vibrations for a fun science lesson.

Then see how many worms appear or how many you can collect!

Worms are of course essential to gardening, and you can also talk to your kids about how they help with composting. Any collected worms can be added to a compost heap if you have one, where the worms will help with this and make excellent soil for future gardening activities.

If you don't have a compost heap, check out activity #15!

#8 Create natural art

Make art inspired by nature and talk about other artists doing the same (British artist Andy Goldsworthy is a good example).

Collect leaves, petals and natural objects to create an art installation.

It can be as simple as collecting sticks, flower petals, rocks and leaves and turning them into pictures or sculptures.

You can do this while gardening. But it's also a great outdoor activity with a walk in the woods as there's so much to collect.

You can also do this in the fall as the fall leaves offer so many colors to work with!

What if your child doesn't feel like art? Store items for use in a fun garden or woodland themed trash can!

#9 Go bug hunting

Why not go bug hunting? Kids love all kinds of creepy crawlies.

Follow the mini beasts in your garden and see how they move and behave. It's a science fair project in your own backyard!

Preschoolers will love looking down at the legs and seeing the bugs waddle and move, then try to waddle and move like a bug themselves.

You can also talk about life cycles, for example how moth larvae become moths (and how caterpillars become butterflies, as all young children know from one of theThe best gardening books for preschoolers.any times!).

You can even use oneBug-Box, like this one, and observe the tiny creatures with the magnifying glass.

#10 Helps remove weeds

Not all gardening activities mean you have to grow something, you can pull weeds too!

Pulling weeds can be a scary chore, but with kids you can turn it into a game and they will enjoy being a great garden helper!

You need to show them how and be around so they don't uproot your precious roses, real plants or newly planted lawn!

It teaches you how to deal responsibly with nature and saves you a few hours of work in the garden. Little kids will love it moreGlovesand tools that fit in their little hands, like this onechild protectionNortetoolbox.

#11 Baking in a clay kitchen

Baking in a clay kitchen is one of my favorite outdoor sensory activities for preschoolers.

Kids love this creative, messy fun, and the scooping, mixing, and pouring also helps develop their fine motor skills.

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You can have fun building your own clay kitchen from old pallets and metal hardware while teaching yourself some basic engineering skills along the way.

Alternatively, you can get a pre-made one like this really awesome oneClay kitchenvonEltot, or do it the easy waysensory container on a stand!

#12 Feengarten

Fairy gardens are great for 'teaching' imaginative play, something that preschoolers and older are naturally drawn to at the various stages of their learning and development. On top of that, they really liven up a corner of the ground or the base of a tree.

You can make little fairy chairs out of twigs and stones, or use these beautiful onesFairy house kitto make a really special fairy circle.

Add it slowly over time and plant new pieces as you receive them. It is also good to include fairy garden accessories in gifts, such as:Easter nest for toddlersÖSock for toddlers for Christmasto encourage them to explore new ideas and nurture them over time.

#13 Rock painting art

Rock painting is great fun and a beautiful way to add a pop of color to your garden.

Using acrylic paints to keep them from washing off in the rain, you can paint beautiful patterns and designs onto large, smooth rocks. Hide them in flower beds for a fun surprise hidden in the shade of your flower bed.

Painted rocks could also be a great way to mark what you've planted in your garden! Have your preschooler draw a carrot on a rock, plant it where you planted the carrot seeds for example!

#14 Perfume Flower Potions

As a child I loved to make my own "perfume".

It was mainly about finding a large number of colorful flower petals and squeezing them into bowls of water and letting them sit for a couple of days.

This is one of the super easy gardening learning activities for preschoolers as their play potion can be anything they want and it helps to boost their creativity.

It wouldn't smell very nice, but it was still a lot of fun! And your child will also love making perfumes or potions!

#15 Create a worm

This could be a great way for your preschooler to "relocate" any worms they might find during the worming activity.

Insects are fascinating for young children, and worm activities allow your kids to see the secret life of worms firsthand! (a great no-fuss pet!)

You can make your own with worms for free out of a big old plastic bottle or check this outWurmfarm-Kitavailable on Amazon.

#16 Create a bug and bug hotel

Looks like we want to give all the creatures in the garden a home! But an insect hotel is really great for your garden and can help insect populations survive as more and more of their natural habitats are being destroyed by humans.

Bug hotels don't have to be "house-shaped and cute" (although many of them are!). You can build your own using a stack of lumber, logs, and crumpled up newspaper. They're great places for your kids to explore once the bugs have moved in!

imagine childhoodhas a nice housebug houseÖbutterfly house. Amazon has some great onesthe biggest too.

#17 Make bird seed fat balls

Part of learning about nature is learning how to encourage and support insects, birds and other life in our communities, which then allows you to discover even more!

Encourage wildlife in your backyard with your kids' nature activities for preschoolers, such ashelps them find nutritious snacks.

One of my favorite things to do is making bird seed fat balls!

They're easy to make! Simply mix nuts, breadcrumbs and raisins with a little butter or suet and form into a ball with your hands ora silicone mold.

You can mix it up with variations: also make pendants with rope to hang on a tree or on a bird feeder. You can encourage kids to watch birds by adding the yummy bird treatsBirdhouse by the windowso that the children can also see them from the inside.

#18 Do a snail race

One of my little boys favorite activities that I remember from my own childhood is snail racing! You can find snails hiding under leafy plants or under rocks in most gardens. Snails like places that are cool and wet, so you won't often find them in the sun.

Snails move slowly, so don't make the track too long or the race will take hours! You can build a circular track and have it run from the center to the edge, or a traditional track with rails (although the snails don't know they are walking and may cross each other multiple times!).

Mark it with chalk or use sticks as borders. To care for snails, keep the track moist and avoid letting snails walk in bright sunlight.

And make sure they come back after you finish the snail game!

#19 Regrow vegetables from kitchen scraps

One of my favorite ideas for teaching little ones and older kids about gardening, plant life cycles and the outdoors is to recreate veggies from the foods you eat!

Many vegetables sprout easily from leftovers, and in my experience young children get excited to see their leftovers sprout into lettuce, carrots, beans, potatoes, squash, and more!

You can combine this with other science and math learning activities, e.g. B. the process of measuring and keeping a diary of food, sunlight, etc.

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and you canTeach children to compostwhat is left!

#20 Haz a simple terrarium

Terrariums are so much fun and you canbuy a pre-made kitthat godie DIY-Route.

Take some empty jam jars or peanut butter jars with lids and fill them with the substrate you need for a terrarium: a layer of small pebbles in the bottom, followed by some activated charcoal and then soil.

Depending on the age group you are working with, you can use simple language to explain how pebbles and activated charcoal help with drainage and help plants "breathe" through their roots.

Add some decorations (fairy garden accessories work well) and a small succulent or two to the top of the substrate.

#21 Cook or eat what you grow

After all the work and effort your kids put into reclamating kitchen waste, growing herbs, vegetables and edible flowers, let your toddler or preschooler enjoy the fruits of their labor and have fun!

Toddlers and preschoolers love to help out in the kitchen. I recommend getting a kitchen tower and some kid-friendly knives, and letting your kids help you prepare whatever veggies and herbs you've grown.

This can be a really fun way to encourage them to eat more veggies and unprocessed foods and to try flavors that might be new to them!

#22 dissect a flower

This is a really fun way to introduce younger children to science and botany.

Choose a flower with many petals, e.g. a tulip or a gerbera, and place your toddler on a table with tweezers, scissors, etc.a magnifying glassand a piece of paper and tape or glue.

Then slowly remove the flower pieces, group them on the paper and glue or tape them, name them and discuss their function.

Here it isa tutorial showing the process.

#23 Name the sounds you hear in the garden

Young children love learning the names of different onomatopoeia, and spending time outdoors and in the garden is a great opportunity to listen and learn.

Some examples to get you started are:

  • Whirring or hissing when hummingbirds approach a feeding site
  • Hums when bees or other insects fly or pollinate the flowers.
  • Chirp or chirp as the birds sing nearby
  • Splash or Slosh when jumping in puddles
  • Squish, the sound of mud crushing your fingers in the mud kitchen
  • Snap, the sound of a snapping twig

#24 Take a walk through the wildflowers

Of course, you can also leave your own garden and embark on a wildflower adventure in search of the various wildflowers native to your area.

Another fun activity would be organizing a wildflower scavenger hunt in search ofthe most common wildflowersand cross them off when you see them!

#25 Picking and pressing flowers

This is another fun activity I remember doing from my own childhood: pressing flowers!

plant pressesThey are quite affordable and make drying and pressing of flowers, leaves and herbs easier.

Your kids can use the pressed flowers in art projects, as decorations, or as gifts for friends, family, and teachers!

This botanical collectible setIt can also help your kids collect and organize their samples, although it's more suitable for older kids.

Benefits of gardening for children

Gardening appeals to all the senses

Being outdoors and working in the garden makes it easier for your child to activate all their senses. Of course they can see and smell the flowers, plants and insects, but they can also taste the herbs and listen to the different sounds of the garden. And, of course, hands-on: getting your hands dirty in the dirt is one of the true joys of spring!

Kids + Gardening = Great for motor skills

Gardening and being outside can be very helpful with fine motor skills such as grasping, planting seeds and flowers, operating a watering can, etc.

Gardening for preschoolers is a great combo for STEAM learning

Children this age are naturally curious, and gardening is a great way to encourage them to follow their curiosity in whatever direction it takes them.

STEAM activities represent science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and it's not too hard to think of different ways to incorporate STEAM activities through gardening:

  • Science, including life cycles, water cycles, weather, how plants grow, ecosystems and the importance of bees, etc.
  • Technologyit's a bit more abstract. However, helping your toddler plan and organize his thoughts, form and test hypotheses, and identify and try to solve problems are skills that will help him in a world where technology comes first stands.
  • mechanical engineeringmight include building a mud kitchen or flysheet or fort for shelter; Put up tomatoes and tall plants so they don't fall over; or o build great sculptures for the garden (art cross over).
  • artistic activitiesGarden related are discussions about the color of different plants and flowers and trying to mix colors appropriately; paint or draw pictures or make sculptures; and other crafts and creativity boosts, such asCreate a stamp garden!
  • math activities canThis includes counting, measuring and comparing different sizes, lengths etc.

How to protect small children when gardening

Wash your toddler's hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after gardening and practice good hygiene when gardening. This means no dirty hands to your face and no eating while gardening!

You should also make sure to protect yourself from the sun anytime you spend any time outdoors with children of this age (and any age, really). Dress in light, long-sleeved clothing or UV shirts, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

And when it's hot, make sure to stay hydrated.

Final thoughts on gardening activities for preschoolers and toddlers

I hope this article got you grabbing your wellies and hitting the yard with your toddlers or preschoolers! Spring is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, teach about nature as it blooms in summer, and also bring garden-themed activities indoors.

Having fun and learning with preschoolers is easy. So enjoy being creative, planting and fooling around together and exploring different play options. And don't be afraid of a bit of mud and dirt!

If you know other parents or families who might enjoy the garden-themed activities we have featured in this article or who are learning about the garden and nature in general, please feel free to share with them.

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  8. Try an information game.

What are plants activities for preschoolers? ›

Let's run through a couple of plant activities for preschool learners.
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How do you make a garden fun for kids? ›

For all our garden ideas head over to our gallery.
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How do you teach preschoolers to garden? ›

Teach Gardening by Playing Pretend

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What are the plant activities? ›

Plant Activities for Kids
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What activities do 3 year olds learn? ›

Fun learning activities for 0–3-year-olds
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What can a 3 to 5 year old do? ›

During this stage, children should be able to ride a tricycle, use safety scissors, notice a difference between girls and boys, help to dress and undress themselves, play with other children, recall part of a story, and sing a song.

Which is the best activity for a 5 year old child? ›

Activities like board games, card games, story time, and dance time should all be on your 4-6 year olds must do list because these activities not only encourage family time and socialization, they also encourage creativity, teach them how to listen to instructions, and can help them refine their problem-solving skills.

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101 awesome activities for kids ages 5 to 8
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What is a garden for kindergarten? ›

A garden is a piece of land usually found outdoors where plants, flowers, trees, and other forms of nature are displayed, enjoyed, and taken care of. Gardening is the act of taking care of the plants by watering them and removing weeds in their vicinity.

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A garden is a planned plot of land adjoining a house that is used for cultivating new plants, flowers and fruits in trees and other forms of nature. The garden consists of both natural and man-made materials.

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Here are some fun and easy plants for children to start from seed. They are readily available here at Watters Garden Center. Vegetables – Beans, cherry tomatoes, lettuces, sprouts, squashes, pumpkins, especially giant pumpkins. Flowers – Sunflowers, nasturtiums, zinnias, marigolds, wildflower seed mixes.

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February fun: Random gardening facts
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  6. Pick Your Plants.
  7. Start Planting.
  8. Water at the Right Time.
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What are the 3 types of gardening? ›

The most common vegetable garden structures are in-ground gardens, container gardens, and raised bed gardens. In-ground gardening consists of planting veggies directly in the ground, while container gardening involves using portable above-ground containers to grow plants.

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All plants need space to grow, the right temperature, light, water, air, nutrients, and time.

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An average size tree can provide enough wood to make 170,100 pencils! The first type of aspirin, painkiller, and fever reducer came from the tree bark of a willow tree! 85% of plant life is found in the ocean!

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1 Answer
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The pulling, digging, reaching, twisting, and bending of gardening amounts to light aerobic exercise, which improves heart and lung health, helps prevent obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, some cancers, and more.

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Life processes: These are the 7 processes all living things do - movement, reproduction, sensitivity, nutrition, excretion, respiration and growth.

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Go "fishing." Set up a wading pool with objects and let your little one try to catch them. Go for a group jog. Go for a walk. Set a timer to see how far you can walk in five minutes, 10, 20, or 30. Note whether you're going to make a loop or take an out-and-back route so you can plan accordingly.

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  7. Stomp Rockets. ...
  8. Visit A Botanical Garden.
May 12, 2022

What are fun activities for 4-year-olds? ›

15 activities for 4-year-olds to educate and entertain
  • Outdoor play. Sidewalk chalk. Using the sidewalk as a canvas inspires them to think big. ...
  • Independent play. Book exploration. ...
  • Creative play. Dough. ...
  • Water play. Laboratory. ...
  • Physical play. Playground.
Sep 13, 2021

What does a 4 year old learn in preschool? ›

Preschoolers learn “pre-skills,” which lay the groundwork for the future. Through their playing, singing and learning, preschoolers gain skills that ultimately help them learn to read, write, build their math and science skills, and become successful students.

How do I teach my 3 5 year old? ›

Make sure your child has time to play with other children. Point out letters in signs, and go through the alphabet together. Use blocks, big puzzles and other toys to teach letters and numbers. Sing alphabet and counting songs together.

What should I teach my 5 year old in preschool? ›

What Should a 5 Year Old Be Learning?
  • Writing their first and last name.
  • Knowing the letters of the alphabet.
  • Improving and practicing phonetic skills.
  • Recognizing and writing numbers up to 20.
  • Identifying time to the nearest hour using digital and analog clocks.
  • Ordering events in a sequence.

What are landscape activities? ›

care and maintenance of plantations for protection against noise, wind, erosion etc.; gardening works, maintenance of gardens, also private; trimming of trees (except fruit trees) and hedge maintenance; gardening works at cemeteries.

What are the major activities of plants? ›

Photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration are the three major functions that drive plant growth and development (Figure 24). All three are essential to a plant's survival.

What is a landscape short answer? ›

The Earth's surface is made up of a vast number of elements that have been brought together to create amazing shapes and formations. To study and understand all these formations, geographers organise them into groups based on characteristics that are similar. These different groups are referred to as landscapes.

What are 10 things you can do on Earth Day? ›

10 Earth Day Activities and Ideas
  • Support Our Pollinators! ...
  • Clean Up Plastic in Your Neighborhood or Local Park. ...
  • Swap Out Your Kitchen and Household Products! ...
  • Plant a Tree! ...
  • Use Wildflowers and Native Plants. ...
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the Garden. ...
  • Stop Pesticides and Chemicals in the Garden. ...
  • Conserve Water!

What activities will make the Earth happy? ›

That way, we can save money; we can be healthier, and; we can help the environment.
  • Stop Littering. ...
  • Reduce Paper Consumption. ...
  • Save Electricity. ...
  • Save Water. ...
  • Swap Regular School Supplies. ...
  • Bring Reusable Bags to the Grocery Store. ...
  • Walk to School or Take a Bike, Avoid Taking Cars or Carpool When Possible.

What are the 5 needs of plants? ›

All plants need space to grow, the right temperature, light, water, air, nutrients, and time.

What are the 20 uses of plants? ›

List Ten Uses of Plants
  • Plants provide us food, like fruits, vegetables, etc.
  • Plants provide us medicines.
  • Plants provide shade during hot, sunny days.
  • Plants help to reduce soil erosion.
  • Plants prevent air pollution.
  • Plants provide paper.
  • Plants are a good source of wood and timber.

How do you teach a preschooler to plants? ›

Tips for Teaching Kids How to Garden
  1. Start small. You don't need a large yard to teach your child about gardening. ...
  2. Choose high-interest plants. ...
  3. Use the right tools. ...
  4. Cultivate good habits. ...
  5. Eat the fruits of your labors. ...
  6. Visit a farm or farmer's market.
Jun 15, 2020

How can I make planting fun? ›

How to Make Gardening Fun for Kids
  1. Place the Garden Under Your Child's Responsibility. ...
  2. Teach Them the Uninteresting Lessons First. ...
  3. Establish Their Roles. ...
  4. Let Them Play In the Dirt. ...
  5. Let Them Play With Bugs. ...
  6. Use the Plants for Practical Purposes. ...
  7. Track Their Progress. ...
  8. Gardening for Kids is Fun.
Oct 9, 2018


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