Saturday, January 24, 2015

Planting Seeds with Kids (& Eric Carle's The Tiny Seed)

It's ironic that I know nothing of gardening. I mean I grew up in a big house with a huge garden, with lawn grass, a guava tree orchard, a kitchen garden, a rose garden , a mulberry trees, mango trees and probably over 200 potted plants. But nope, plants just don't seem to survive under my care!

When I wanted some plants in our balcony (since that's the area we use for my kid's art and science activities) I realised I could hire a gardener to keep track and make sure all plants are alive & thriving. I have only 20 pots, but he comes in twice a month to loosen the soil, trim plants, put medicine or fertilizer if required, all of which is done within fifteen mintues. Seems pretty quick and easy too. But I so need him!

All set to go! pots, seeds & soil!

I wanted to give my 3 y.o. Some exposure to the process (so he doesn't grow up clueless like me!) So I took him to the neighbourhood plant nursery to buy some mini pots and soil. He thoroughly enjoyed running around there (..and was more interested in pottery than plants !). 

wheat (gehu), pearl millet (bajra), sorghum (jowar), 
fenugreek seeds (methi) and brown mustard seeds (rai).

Then we went to our neighbourhood grocer to buy a handful of seeds. We already have some spices & herbs growing with us (lemon grass, aloevera, curry leaves, basil etc) so I wanted something else, also something easy-peasy, that grows quickly, within a week or so. We got three grains: wheat (gehu), pearl millet (bajra), sorghum (jowar) and two spices: fenugreek seeds (methi) and brown mustard seeds (rai).

I asked our dear cook to help (she's the expert - I didn't wanna risk screwing up his first sow!). And together they poured in mud in the pots, sprinkled seeds and then sprinkled more mud over the seeds. Finished off with watering the pots and poking craft sticks with the seed names.

He then explored the remaining seeds with a magnifying glass, pouring them from one well of the palette to another, mixing 'em up

His magnifying glass put to good use!

Every day he would water the plants and ask why the plants aren't growing. And I explained that it takes a few days and we have to be patient!

His excitement had no bounds on sixth day, he screamed with joy and called me to see his pots! Three of them had sprouted. Tiny little leaves had sprung out and he showed them to any one who came home!

Brown Mustard Seeds

A related book that we read together was Eric Carle's The Tiny Seed. While it tells the story of how a tiny seed travels over seasons, it teaches about how seeds don't sprout in ice, sand, sea, around weeds, under stamping feet etc. and under the right conditions of sunlight water and air, a tiny seed can sprout and grow into a really tall plant! and as the life cycle of a plant continues, seeds from this plant fly away with the wind to begin another journey! 

& This was 2 weeks later! Sorghum (Jowar) took a bit longer to sprout, hence no pictures. He was really proud of his effort! And I am looking forward to more botany related activities!


Brown Mustard Seeds

Pearl Millet

Until later! Stay in touch!

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  1. It is exciting to watch seeds come up!

  2. What a fun activity to do together! I can only imagine your son's excitement at seeing something he helped to put together start to grow.

  3. Theres nothing better than little sprouts!
    Thank you for sharing on The Oh My Heartsie Girls WW this week!!!

    Wishing you the best!!

  4. Thank you for sharing this! It looks like a lot of fun was had and this gives me a reminder that it will be spring soon and time to start planting our crops~

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  5. Kids love planting seeds and watching them grow. Things like this that sprout and grow quickly is so exciting for them! Thanks for sharing with SYC.