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Plant Biology for Kids & Garden Themed Learning Activities

A simple introduction to  plant biology for kids, plus more garden-themed learning activities that pair beautifully with picture books listed in the post.

Simple ways to teach children about plant biology from mamasmiles.com.

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Plant Biology for Kids

I am a huge fan of teaching plant biology for kids – they have a natural fascination about the world around them, and they remember scientific terms easily. Spring is a great time to start gardening with kids, and you don’t have to wait for spring temperatures to get started!

Plant biology is also an activity that pairs well with this week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids theme: Garden. The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is this week’s featured book. The Curious Garden is another wonderful picture book for this theme.

An Introduction to Photosynthesis

Having live plants in your home is a wonderful way to teach kids about the importance plants attach to sunlight. You can use a seedling to show how plants follow the sun, or larger plants like these bean plants! If you look at the photo, you will see that the plant’s leaves are turned so that they can absorb as much sunlight as possible. Turn the planting box, and the leaves will turn again to follow the sun! Chlorophyll is a pigment that makes the leaves green – and it absorbs the sunlight, which it needs for photosynthesis!

A very basic explanation of photosynthesis is that the plant takes the sunlight that it has absorbed through its leaves along with carbon dioxide it gets from the air and water that it gets though its roots. It combines these ingredients to create the sugar that the plant needs to grow. You can use any plant in any container to teach this lesson, but thinner, see-through planters like the one above are cool because you can see root systems so well. A zip lock bag also works – there is no need to get fancy, but this was a birthday gift that Emma really enjoyed last year.

You can also plant seeds in a jar, or even a simple Ziploc bag.

Plant Biology Books to Read

Would you like to extend the learning even further? Here are some great books that I recommend to go along with this activity:

Do you know of other books that I should add to my list?

More Garden Themed Learning Activities for Kids

Here are some more great garden themed learning activities for kids:


2016-17 season virtual book club for kids books and activities

Click on the image above to see all of the themes, books, and activities for this year’s 2016-17 Virtual Book Club for Kids! I am updating the page as new posts go live.

Do you have a garden-themed picture book we should read? How about a plant biology experiment for the kids, or another garden-themed activity? Please share any ideas you have on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram.

More Gardening Ideas for Families

Gardening activities for families to enjoy together.

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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

19 thoughts on “Plant Biology for Kids & Garden Themed Learning Activities”

  1. How awesome that your plants are growing. We — my son and I — built a soda bottle ecosystem but so far nothing has sprouted. It might be too cold here still.

  2. jeannine: waddleeahchaa

    Funny, I just recently saw these window seed boxes and thought they were very neat. I also saw one for attaching to the outside of the window for a bird’s nest. A bird built a nest between one of our windows and the screen and it was wonderful to peek on the baby birds.

    The kiddos and I spent the entire day outside yesterday planting. It was such a joy! Ah growing plants, just goodness.

  3. That is a great planter! We have an avocado seed growing in a jar and are having a lot of fun watching it grow.

  4. Awesome!! RAFT has kits for making plants grow out of CD cases that look very similar. J too received a science kit for his birthday (on colors and such). He’s been asking to do it recently. We’ll probably break it out this week for some much needed 1-on-1 time. We also are learning about plants since we planted our garden on this beautiful past Saturday. During the process, J was explaining photosynthesis to me! I might have him repeat it, so I can post it.

  5. Elisa | blissfulE

    That is a very cool planter! And your post reminds me to point out to my kids how the leaves turn on the two (very hardy) plants I’ve managed to keep alive in our house.

  6. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    Love this planter. I asked Smarty last fall why leaves turn yellow, and she gave me an entire lecture on chlorophyll :)

  7. I love teaching plant biologie to our girls. We planted herbs 3 weeks ago and they are loving seeing their little plants growing each day

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