Gardening is such a fun plant science activity for kids.
It allows them to explore botany (the study of flowers & plants) , habitats and pollination.
It's also a wonderful family activity as everyone can get involved in planting, growing and harvesting from your own backyard.
Even if you don't have the time or space for a full-blown garden, the kids would enjoy starting some flowers and veggies in a few posts on your porch.
One of the first things many kids will notice as they explore plants is that they grow :)
This is very obvious to us but for kids, it's a small revelation. You'll hear lots of questions:
"How does it grow?"
"How tall will it be?"
"Why is it growing?"
Plant Measurement Activity
There are many factors involved in plant growth -- a few key items that will help kids to understand the idea of botany.
Plants need four things to grow -- water, sunlight (for most), air and good soil (dirt with nutrients). Mention these items to the kids as you plant your garden or pots.
Related Post: Gardening Books for Kids
Tracking a plant's growth by measuring it each week can be a really fun activity for kids.
Be sure the kids understand that different plants will grow at different rates -- some will grow quickly and others are slower to grow.
Some plants (such as sunflowers) will also be much taller than others when they reach maturity. And the amount of water, sunlight, type of soil and air temperature can all impact plant growth.
Here are a few suggestions for plants that will grow quickly & quite long (so they're fun to measure):
When you first start your seeds or plant your seedling, check the seed packet or plant tab. These will tell you approximately how tall or long your plant will grow and will also give you the approximate number of days to maturity.
The kids can use a ruler or tape measure -- we love this Kid-friendly Tape Measure (affiliate link) if you don't have one in the house -- great for math activities! Daily measurements will allow the kids to see how tall their plant is each week and record it along with the weather conditions.
It can also be lots of fun to take some pictures of the kids standing next to their plant every few weeks especially if you are growing sunflowers or vine plants such as beans, pumpkins or cucumbers.
We'd love to see what you're planting this year -- feel free to share a photo of your garden activities on our Facebook page!
For more plant & garden fun, check out these other garden posts: