Are you looking for a gardening activity for kids? This pretend vegetable garden is the perfect activity for kids in the spring and summer months.
The warmer weather is here! It’s time to get outdoors with the kids and have fun exploring, learning and playing! A vegetable garden sensory bin is the perfect way to get kids excited to help plant the garden.
My boys get a first-hand experience helping grandma and grandpa plant their garden. It’s such a cool experience for them so I thought this pretend vegetable garden would be a great way for them to get excited about helping grandma and grandpa.
This vegetable sensory bin has something for younger and older children. My four year old loved this as much as my six-year-old. There’s something calming and therapeutic about the dirt texture in your hands.
As a word of caution, if your child is prone to putting things in his or her mouth, be sure to keep an eye out that they aren’t eating the pretend dirt.
Garden Activity Materials
Look around your house and see what materials you may already have on hand for a play garden for kids. Do you have gardening tools, seeds, gloves, mini pots?
- Felt vegetables – Here are a few pretend vegetable options. Plastic Vegetables // Amazon Felt Vegetable Kit
- Plastic bin
- Play Dirt – unique play dirt that can be used over and over again.
- Garden Tool Set
- Plastic Insects
- Mini Flower Pots
Gardening Activity for Kids
There is no wrong way to set up a gardening activity for kids. Get some felt vegetables or even plastic vegetables from your kiddo’s play kitchen, play dirt (or real dirt if you wish), and a bin to keep the sensory materials.
At first, let the kids have open-play with the materials and use their imagination! My boys had so much fun playing in their play garden and they really loved the play dirt, it has a kinetic sand feel to it. You can use this opportunity to talk about the plant life cycle, or what gardens need to grow.
Extend the Learning and Play
Sequential Order. Gardening activities lend themselves well to teaching kids about sequential order. It’s a great time to introduce keywords that help distinguish order – first, next, then, last. For example, “First we plant the seeds, then we cover them with dirt, next we water the seeds, last, the plant will grow.”
Plant Life Cycle. Plant real seeds and watch them grow! Planting real seeds or plants would be the next step to discussing plant life and vegetable gardens with kiddos. It really is a rewarding process for kids.
Vegetable Vocabulary. Identify the many different vegetables! Take a trip to the grocery store and look at and identify the actual vegetables. There are so many vegetables our kids don’t know the names of since they aren’t necessarily exposed to them in their everyday life.
Books About Vegetables
There are so many books to read about vegetables! We love integrating books into whatever we are learning about.
- Up in the Garden Down in the Dirt – Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt, there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing, and all the other animals that make a garden their home.
- Eating the Alphabet – Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z – While teaching upper- and lowercase letters to preschoolers, Ehlert introduces fruits and vegetables from around the world
- Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli – A silly book about how monsters don’t eat broccoli. But boy do those trees they’re munching on look an awful lot like broccoli. Maybe the vegetables aren’t so bad after all!
- Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet – Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to a colorful variety of vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini. Perfect to read aloud, this vegetable buffet will delight children and parents alike with its yummy vegetable facts and vibrant illustrations.
Other Sensory Activities To Try
Spring Garden Sensory Bin – Another garden sensory bin that is a big hit using black beans!
Construction Sensory Bin – This construction sensory bin is perfect for little builders. It was simple to assemble and yet it provides a lot of entertainment and exploration for kids.