What a crazy week this has been! Teachers here went on strike. So, we had a few extra older kid helpers this week. Honestly, it was nice to have them here. They were super helpful and the younger kids learned a lot from them. Schools are reopening tomorrow, so we won’t have their help for the rest of our garden unit. Bummer!
This week, we started our new unit from Mother Goose Time: Growing Gardens. We learned about all the things gardens need to grow: soil, seeds, sun, water, and even worms!! This month, we are also focusing on connecting the students to their community. As I was thinking about gardens and communities, I thought, the perfect way to connect the kids to their community is to go to the Farmer’s Market. Unfortunately, we can’t take a field trip to the Farmer’s Market because it only happens on some Saturdays where we live and we don’t have preschool on Saturday. Instead of going to the Farmer’s Market, we decided to grow our own herb garden at our preschool! We planted cilantro, basil, sweet mint, thyme, and peppermint. A few neighbors stopped by to ask questions about what we were doing as we planted our preschool community garden.
Before we planted the garden, we explored each part of what a garden needs. The students examined soil. I put some soil in a bowl for each student. They used their five senses (except for taste) to describe the soil. Then, I gave each of them a few seeds to hide in the dirt. The students used tweezers to find the seeds. This activity helped develop their fine motor skills. Most of them found it really easy to pick up the seeds with the tweezers. They loved searching in the dirt for the seeds.
Another activity we did this week, was practicing measuring just the right amount of water to feed our plants. We don’t want to over water them, but we want to make sure they get enough to drink. The students used eyedroppers to suck up water and squirt into a bowl. I drew a line at the top of the cup where I wanted them to stop. This activity also helped develop their fine motor skills as well as their ability to be precise.
One of my favorite activities this week was when we put REAL worms into our garden. The students loved looking and playing with the worms. I went to a local pet store to get the worms. I talked with the worker there to make sure I was getting the right worms for our garden. The only worms they had were nightcrawlers. I don’t know if that was the right worm, but I got them. They have all probably gotten eaten by birds by now.
It was fun letting them be a part of the whole gardening process this week. We even tasted some of our herbs! They were not a big fan of any of them. But, I agree that herbs are better cooked in with other stuff, rather then eating them on their own. The students were excited to show their parents their preschool garden. I hope they have learned that working together in a community (even if it’s a preschool community) helps get things done. We were able to plant a garden because we all worked together and made it happen.
I can’t wait to learn more about gardens this month! Maybe we will get some visitors in our garden…
** I receive curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences using the curriculum. This is my 2nd year using Mother Goose Time, and I am pleased to promote quality educational learning experiences through play with Mother Goose Time!