Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tops & Bottoms

Our Toddler playspace has a small raised garden bed.  Here the young ones experience the feel of soil on their hands and discover wiggly worms.  Sensory experiences abound with the fragrance of mint, the colors of swiss chard, and the sweet juice of a cherry tomato.  We used this space to enjoy a hands-on discovery of tops and bottoms in the garden.
I began with the wonderful Big Book entitled The Vegetable Garden.  The children were able to identify the pictured vegetables. 
We looked at the pictures and noticed that some of the vegetables had soil surrounding them. But, other pictures showed fruits up in trees or beans hanging on a vine.  We decided to go out to our garden to see what we could find.

Pulling the tops of the plants provided a delightful surprise at the bottom.

Delight results in a carrot dance.
Assessing our harvest.
We took our harvest into the room to wash off the soil.  Now we are ready for snack time.
On a rainy day, we created the same experience indoors.  As you can see, the delight of discovery is still evident on their faces.

These Toddlers gained an understanding of how plants grow and of their structure.  They know that sometimes they eat roots - the bottom of a plant.  And, sometimes, they eat the tops.

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