When you awaken the interest in the outdoors in children by planting seeds with them in a garden, they look forward to getting down into the soil and learning hands-on lessons about growing vegetables and plants. Develop lesson plan activities to teach them the parts of a seed, which parts grow into plants, and some common vegetable seed descriptions. Provide younger children with coloring worksheets for the vegetables you will plant and grow in the garden. Take the project out of the classroom and into the garden plot to put the seeds into the ground with the children.
Teach preparatory lessons about the seeds. Explain what a seed is, where seeds come from on a plant, and how seeds transition into new plants. Show the children the seeds and allow them time to examine them closely with a magnifying glass.
Have younger children color and draw the shapes of the seeds they will be planting and label each type of seed with its name in the drawing. Give older children a reading and writing assignment about the seeds and gardening. These lessons offer the children a comprehensive learning experience to go along with the hands-on project of planting seeds.
Make garden signs as an arts-and-crafts project with the children. Staple or glue thin craft wood shapes that are large enough for a sign to the tops of Popsicle or longer sticks. Give the children crayons and acrylic craft paints and brushes to create designs on the signs. Write the names of the vegetables selected for the garden on each sign using a permanent marker.
Prepare the ground. Have an adult till or turn over the soil in the garden area and add natural soil enrichments to the soil, such as peat moss and compost.
Take the children to the garden plot and outfit them with garden gloves and small shovels. Make rows or sections in the garden soil with the children. Stick a garden sign near each row or section to identify where to plant each type of seed.
Plant the seeds. Divide the children into groups and assign each group a section in the garden. Demonstrate to them how to check the suggested depth measurement for each seed type, how deep to plant the seeds, and how to cover them with the soil. Observe each child as they follow your instructions. Pat the soil down over the seeds with the children. Give them watering cans to moisten the soil around the seeds.
Conduct daily adventures into the garden. Assign the children the task of watering the garden everyday or every other day to keep the soil moist.
Inspect the seeds when they sprout. Give the children magnifying glasses to have a close-up look at their growing vegetables, and help them keep a coloring and writing journal about what they discover everyday in the garden.
Involve the children when it is time to pick the vegetables from the garden. Have water handy so that they can taste some of their mild produce such as green beans or lettuce right off the plant.