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Family Farm


Watch vegetables grow at home.

  • Target Age:  4-7 
  • Learning Goals:  vocabulary, oral language development, science
  • Related Episode: TD and the Steak Tree, TD and Martha Gopher Broke

Target Words

bloom, crop, grow, harvest, pick, plant, sprout

Materials

  • onion or potato
  • dried beans
  • toothpicks
  • plastic cups
  • sandwich bag
  • paper towel
  • dirt

Directions

  1. At the grocery store, let your child help you pick out some vegetables that are the leaves of plants (like spinach or lettuce), some vegetables that are the fruits of plants (like tomatoes and peppers), and some vegetables that are parts of the plant thatgrow underground (like carrots, onions, and potatoes). Talk about how these vegetables are grown and how they are harvested.
  2. Help your child "plant" a potato or an onion in water, and watch it grow. Choose a potato or onion that has already begun tosprout. Stick four toothpicks around the middle of the potato or onion and balance it on the rim of a plastic cup or jar. Fill the cup or jar with water so that the water just touches the roots at the bottom of the onion or so that the bottom of the potato is in the water. Keep the water filled to that level as you wait and watch for stems and leaves to grow.
  3. Dried beans from the grocery store (kidney beans, pinto beans, lima beans, etc.) are fun and easy to grow. Soak some beans overnight in cool water to give them a head start. Put a few beans in a sealable plastic sandwich bag with a damp paper towel and plant a few other beans in plastic cups filled with potting soil. In about three days you should be able to see sprouts growing in the beans in the plastic bag. The beans in the bags help kids visualize what is happening under the soil in their other cups.
  4. When your little bean plants get bigger, transplant them into larger pots or into a garden. Watch as they bloom and then grow little beans. You and your child might enjoy recording their growth by keeping a picture journal.

Take it Further

It's fun and delicious to pick your own vegetables. If you have space for a backyard garden, planters, or window box, you and your child can grow cherry tomatoes, alpine strawberries, peas or beans. These are crops that kids can pick and eat right off the plant. Visit a pick-your-own farm to harvest crops such as berries, apples, and pumpkins.

Related Books
  • Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy
    Discover the joys of gardening with your child with this creative idea book.
  • One Bean by Anne Rockwell
    See what happens when a bean is soaked, planted, repotted, and produces a pod with more beans inside.
  • Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
    Buddy Bear gets a package from Grandpa with five colorful bags of seed activities.

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