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Growing gardens, growing minds

A garden provides a child a place to belong, to explore, to learn, and to grow. SEEDS offers educators, parents and caregivers 72 learning activities to be used with children in the garden. Based on early childhood education best practices, the activities are designed around the four seasons of a garden.

Important Things to Know About SEEDS

Lessons are designed for three levels. Tiny Gardeners (Infants and Toddlers), Growing Gardeners (PreK and Kindergarten), and Garden Guides (Grades 1 to 3). However, lessons can be expanded and used with any age group.

Lessons are designed around the seasons of a garden. Each season provides a different opportunity to interact with the garden.

Lessons were written by early childhood experts at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC), the early childhood school located inside the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC.

Lessons include a variety of skills––cognitive, language, affective, and social-emotional. Counting? How many of a particular plant are in this row? Categorizing? Can you sort the weeds from the seedlings? Gross and fine-motor skill-building opportunities abound.

Lessons explore a variety of content—science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts. It is possible to explore any subject in the garden from history to math to art to literature.

Each lesson includes suggestions for things to bring to the garden. The garden is certainly a destination in and of itself, but the lessons include objects that might extend the visit.

Lessons are designed around developmental expectations for children. The lessons keep in mind the developmental abilities and skills of each age group of children.

Lessons are designed with multiple outcomes. Garden classrooms provide opportunities for multiple outcomes.

Lessons include ideas for where to go after you leave the garden. The lessons are designed to help children to begin seeing the entire world as their classroom.

Lessons encourage families to find other gardens. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if kids caught the bug and started finding gardens everywhere?

Smithsonian and Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation logo

SEEDS was a collaborative effort between The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, The Hagedorn Family Foundation, and the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center.