Gardening and Growing Things–Spring is Nearly Here!

With spring on the way, I’m ready to start my garden and am thinking of all they yummy things I want to plant this year. Partially because seed packets are sprouting in stores, bulbs are beginning to emerge, and this week we had Planting Time as our Storytime Theme. Our themes are decided centrally and the kits are sent out with books and finger plays. I’m not always a fan of the book selection, but I dutifully stick to the theme and try to use some of the fingerplays.

Here are some great read alouds for Gardening and Growing Things Theme!

Potato Joe Potato Joe, illustrated by Keith Baker. This is only sort of planting, but after counting, shouting, and generally fooling around, the potatoes do find themselves in the ground growing. It is a lot of fun for toddlers or preschoolers.

Up, Down, and Around Up, Down, and Around, Katherine Ayers. This one is a fantastic book to get the wiggles out, everything in the garden goes up, down, or around and kids can follow along by pointing and twirling their hands. Seeds go down, dirt piles up, water goes around and around. Plus you get to act out picking all the foods. Simple enough for toddlers, though it might be a little long for them it would be easy enough to cut out a few vegetable groupings.

My Garden My Garden, by Kevin Henkes. I love this creative vision of a garden from a little girl’s imagination. The kids in storytime were not as excited about this one, but they can be very literal. I think it could be a lot of fun with the right group.

Growing Vegetable Soup Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. This book is a classic for a reason, it is simple and traces all the steps needed to create a garden. I actually didn’t read this one, but I have read it before in a toddler storytime.

Fun action songs for this theme:

(to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)

The farmer plants the seeds,
The farmer plants the seeds,
Hi, Ho the cheery-o
The farmer plants the seeds

Other verses:
The sun begins to shine…
The rain begins to fall…
The plants begin to grow…
The Flowers smile at us…

or Raffi also has a great gardening song ‘In My Garden,” which I didn’t use (I promise!) partially because we only use Music Together songs and I can’t carry a tune to save my life. But I have used it before on a CD, just acting it out.

My first group had almost 40 kids in it, so it was a little crazy, the second was half as big, and calmer (not always the case, sometimes small groups can be rowdy!)

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