Beautiful flowers and plants are sprouting up everywhere around us. We see them in gardens, open fields, and along the highways. This time of year, we like to explore a seed theme to learn more about the life cycle of a plant. To introduce this learning theme, we first started off by reading Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. Its beautiful bright colors and labeled illustrations really brought the seeds and flowers to life! To accompany the text and really “dig” in, we created a counting seeds gardening sensory bin. This sensory bin allows for hands-on exploration of planting seeds right into the “soil” all while working on number recognition, counting, and one-to-one correspondence.
FIND EVEN MORE GARDEN ACTIVITY IDEAS IN OUR PRINTABLE GARDEN THEME LESSON PLANS.
- small plastic storage bin
- sensory bin filler (we used black beans)
- small pom poms or jewels as “seeds”
- loose numbers
- small gardening pots and tools
To set up this planting seeds math sensory bin, first choose a filling material. We decided upon black beans to represent the soil. If you are looking for a non-food option, aquarium gravel would work well. Next, include small gardening pots and tools for children to sift, pour, and plant. We found some small terracotta pots at our local garden center for less than a dollar. Now the seed planting and sensory exploration can begin!
Sensory Fun and Learning with your Planting Seeds Gardening Sensory Bin
We started out our sensory bin fun by first introducing each item, followed by some free sensory play and exploration. Our little gardeners loved pouring soil from pot to pot and letting it run through their little fingers.
After some time exploring the bin, they were instructed to sort the seeds by color. Next, we practiced some number identification and counting. This ensured they were ready to independently identify the numbers, count, and plant!
Now it’s time to plant the seeds! We randomly chose numbers and set them in front of each pot. This number represented how many seeds to plant. If you don’t have any plastic numbers on hand, or would like to minimize the loose parts, try labeling each pot with a number that you want to practice. Small sticker dots would work well for this. Lots of great fine motor practice was applied too, as kids carefully pinched each pom pom seed and pushed it deep into the soil.
Every plant needs water! So of course we had to water our seeds once they were planted. This turned out to be one of the most exciting parts of this pretend play sensory bin.
Our little gardeners had so much fun pouring, counting, and planting their seeds. It truly helped connect the process of the seed life cycle and provided lots of opportunities to discuss seed and plant vocabulary. If you’d like to take this seed sensory bin a little further, add in some small silk flowers with stems and watch your seeds sprout. We hope you have as much fun as we did working on our green thumbs!
As you continue to explore your seed theme and your planting seeds gardening sensory bin, check out some more of our favorite books about seeds for kids.
More Gardening Fun
MORE GARDEN THEME FUN WITH PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
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