Kids Art: Gardens

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project. The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but our little kids were not getting much art — other than my storytime attempts. Thus, “Kids Art.”

This month’s program was inspired by Kevin Henkes’s new book: “My Garden.”

This is an excellent addition to my storytime collection. While “Old Bear” will always be my favorite Henkes, “My Garden” is a very close second. The kids had a great discussion about what kind of things they would plant in their gardens once we finished.

Then, we did a little bit of extension activities:

Action Rhyme: My Garden
This is my garden (Extend one hand forward, palm up)
I’ll rake it with care, (Make raking motion on palm with 3 fingers of other hand)
And then some flower seeds (Plant motion), I’ll plant in there.
The sun will shine (Make circle with hands)
And the rain will fall, (Let fingers flutter down to lap)
And my garden will blossom (Cup hands together; extend upward slowly)
And grow straight and tall.

Song: “The Garden Song” (Tune: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)
Dig, dig, dig your garden
Make it smooth and neat
Push, push, push that shovel,
Push it with your feet.

Plant, plant, plant your seeds
Push them down an inch
Cover your seeds with some soil
Cover with a pinch.

Water, water, water your seed
This will help them sprout,
Sprinkle lightly and let’s not pour
And don’t let them dry out.

Sun, sun, sunshine
It will turn them green,
Carrots and radishes and peppers, too
Tomatoes and some beans.

Watch, watch, watch them grow
See them grow so tall
Put a scarecrow in the ground
To protect them all.

Pull, pull, pull the weeds
Keep your garden clear
To make them grow up and out
And stretch out here and there.

Pick, pick, pick your feast
Cook some veggie soup
You’ll have lots and lots to eat,
Enough to feed the group.

Credit for both: Step by Step – Garden Theme

And then we moved on to our craft, a garden cup!

This was a craft that one of my co-workers did a few Mother’s Days back. My teen volunteers had pre-cut the shapes and taped the straws to the back of the flowers. The kids used a cut up sponge to do the sponge painting, but I had them grip the sponge with a clothespin. It completely eliminated most of the mess — I only needed some hand wipes to wipe a few fingers.

While their flowers dried, the kids played “Duck, Duck, Goose.” (Which is kind of springtime-ish, right?)

After that, they “planted” their flowers in cups lined with clay at the bottom (otherwise the flowers are too top-heavy and tip the cup over), and filled it up with plastic grass. A hugely successful program — I hope some of the Moms were given flower cups for Mother’s Day when they got home!

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