Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Watching the Grass Grow

At our play group, we planted grass seed.  I know that watching the grass grow is said to be boring, but we are having a lot of fun with this activity.

What you need:
Pot / Tub
Potting soil
Grass seed
shovel / scoop
Gallon size ziplock bag (optional)

What to do:
This is very, very easy.  And what makes the ease of this activity even better is that very, very young children can do it.

Scoop potting soil into your container.  We used little plastic tubs, probably from the dollar store.  Next, scoop on a layer of grass seed.  Then scoop a little more soil on top.  Water it, and wait.  

You really can't mess this up.  If you put a lot of seed (like we did), its okay.  If you knock it over and it gets mixed up (like we did on the way home), its okay.  If you forget to water it for three or four days (like we did), its okay.  If you leave it on the counter instead of in the sun (like we did), its okay.

Our grass started to grow in a few days even though I treated it horribly.  Once we saw it growing (all scraggly and yellow), we gave it a drink and some sunlight and it started growing healthy and fast.

Our play group facilitator recommended leaving it in the ziplock bag we used to carry it home to give it a little green house. 

  • For preschoolers just learning how to use scissors, this is a unique way to practice. 
  • Measuring the grass every day allows for math skills like number recognition, adding, subtracting, units, and measurement. 
  • A simple way to teach what plants need to grow, which by the way is part of the Sesame St curriculum these days.  (You could even what a Sesame Street video that reenforces it afterwards). 
  • Older kids could learn about charting and graphing.  
  • Older kid could preform a real science experiment and compare and contrast pots of seed left in different conditions.  
  • This is a great activity for multiple kids to do because you have so much soil and seed in one package.  If you have a grass growing play date, or a bunch of siblings, you could have a contest about who has the tallest grass (or thickest grass or greenest) later. 
  • Read books about growing plants like Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Elhert.  
  • Go on a seed scavenger hunt.  
  • Use your grass clippings for crafts.  
  • Take pictures of your grass as it progresses. Turn them into a flip book or slide show. 
  • Take a trip a green house or public garden.  
  • Try planting other seeds.  You can watch seeds sprout in paper towels.  You can perch an avocado pit in a glass.  And there are all sorts of seeds you can plant, everything from tiny carrot seeds to huge daffodil bulbs. 
  • Read books about respecting nature, such as Ladybug Girl, The Lorax, and The Giving Tree.
  • Learn more about greenhouses if you use the ziplock bag like one.  
Here is a link to a blog that covers grass seed, avacado seeds, and bean seeds in paper towels:  All the things I wanted to do!

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