Gardening with Kids: Teaching Observation Skills

by - May 21, 2012

There are several items that my youngest goes to almost every time we are in the garden. I'm thinking about  now setting up a crate for his special objects. This morning I want to show you one of his current favorites and share a game my older son really enjoyed.

This magnifying glass has been great fun for Wookie. He goes from plant to plant looking at the different flowers, which gives me a chance to toss in a lesson in colors and size. He also loves observing insects, and for a kid who doesn't say much yet, he has mastered the word "bee".

My four-year-old Scooby and I recently played a game of leaf identification. One of us would close our eyes while the other would go pick a leaf from a tree and bring it back for the other to then try and match to the correct tree. We were able to talk about the shape, color, texture, and shine of the leaves. If we moved the game to the garden, we could also throw in scent by picking different herbs and even tomato leaves. I doubt I could get him to taste them too, but it might be worth a shot! One idea to stretch observation and assessment further is to ask what are three things that are similar and three things that are different.

Do you have any fun observation activities that the kids love?

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  1. Good tip. My little boy loves to water the plants. If it were up to him he'd water them all day :)

  2. great ideas! I will use them for sure. We need a magnifying glass...

  3. My kids love magnifying glasses, but we haven't inspected the garden yet. That might get my 7 year old a bit more involved the garden.
    My 5 year old on the other hand loves to pick things, ripe or not....Maybe I should teach her to look for pests with a magnifying glass and she could hone her skills picking them...

  4. These are great ideas for getting kids more involved in nature and gardening beyond just eating your veggies- inspiring and awesome!



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