Is there anything more intriguing than indoor plants? Plant activities are one of the earliest types of science that kids can understand.
Indoor gardening, in particular, has amazing benefits for kids. It contributes to their health and happiness, engages all their senses and gives them a sense of responsibility. It doesn’t require a green thumb and you don’t have to leave the house or classroom!
Here are some simple educational activities you can do with your kids, inspired by your Click & Grow vegetable garden and its inbuilt grow lights. You’ll find a mixture of easy activities and slightly more challenging activities to try at home or at school.
Feel free to adjust them according to your needs. You can also use these as inspiration to create your own activities. Either way, have fun!
What better way to learn about science than through plants? Set up a Smart Garden 3 or a Smart Garden 9 in your home or classroom and enjoy. For larger groups of children, a Smart Garden 27 works especially well, growing up to 27 plant pods at a time.
In addition to being an educational resource, a smart garden’s grow lights provide calming, ambient lighting. You don’t need to buy potting soil when using our products. Our unique smart soil technology does all the work.
1. Identify herbs by fragrance and appearance
The selection of herbs in our plant portfolio is so diverse - there’s something for everyone. It’s rewarding getting to know each herb.
- Go over the variety of Click & Grow herbs and choose the ones that interest you most.
- Plant these in your smart garden.
- Check plant care information for recommended harvest techniques and timing.
- Investigate which parts of the herbs are responsible for their aromas.
- What happens to the aromas when you harvest or rub the herbs?
- If you were blindfolded, would you recognize the plants by their aromas?
- Which dishes can you use your favorite herbs in?
2. Learn plant parts
Draw diagrams of plants growing in your smart garden. Label each part of the plant:
3. Life cycles of plants
Teaching kids about fruits and veggies? Use the opportunity to learn about plants’ life cycles too!
- Plant a Click & Grow fruiting plant in your smart garden (tomatoes or sweet peppers are good examples).
- Check plant care tips on the product page or follow plant pod development and timed tips on the app for best results. You could also use Click & Grow experimental pods for seed starting, later transplanting them to regular plant pots. Go with a fruiting plant of your choice.
- As it grows from a tiny plant seed, discuss its reproductive life cycles.
- Talk about the importance of proper plant care, e.g. thinning seedlings or the importance of pollination and how this produces fruit.
- Why do plants degrade after they produce fruit?
4. The importance of light
- Talk about the smart garden’s grow lights and what their purpose is.
- Discuss why plants need light as well as periods of darkness to ‘rest’. Why do plants need light to ‘eat’?
- Learn more about light and plants here!
5. Demonstrate plant transpiration
- Place white cut flowers (eg. Click & Grow white snapdragon) in some colored water. Use any food color you like.
- Notice how the water travels along the stem to the petals in a few hours. Do the petals become the same color as the water? If so, why is this?
Kids’ gardening is an opportunity to play with numbers and do all kinds of calculations!
6. Wet v dry smart soil
- Weigh a dry plant pod just before planting it in your smart garden.
- Weigh it again the next day. Does a moist plant pod weigh more? If so, how much?
- Can you calculate the difference between the weight of smart soil when it’s wet and when it’s dry?
- Can you calculate the moisture content?
7. Predicting germination and harvest
Can you guess when a seed will germinate?
- Find the plant you’re growing in our catalog. Then, click on its ‘plant care’ tab to see its germination time.
- Monitor how long it takes to sprout.
- Use the plant’s harvest information and ‘lasts up to’ date (under the plant care tab) to predict when it will germinate and how long it will take to mature.
- Predict when a pod needs to be planted in order to be ready for a specific holiday, eg. Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- Use the Click & Grow mobile app to track the plant pod’s age.
8. How tall are my plants?
- Use a ruler to compare the heights of your plants at different growth stages.
- Compare how tall they’ve all grown over a certain period of time.
- Make a graph that shows how much your plants grow every week.
Nature has a way of inspiring every age group. Indoor gardening is a chance for kids to explore their creativity and practice their writing skills.
9. Being resourceful
- Practice using the library or an internet search engine. Find information about a curious plant (ie. sweet potatoes, venus flytraps, sunchoke, you name it!)
- Research how the plant is used in different parts of the world.
- Check fun facts and tips for the plants you're currently growing in your Smart Garden.
- Share your findings with others in the Click and Grow community.
So, there you have it! Enjoy trying these indoor gardening activities for kids. While your colleagues are busy collecting mason jars, toilet paper rolls, kitchen scraps and poking holes in the bottoms of egg cartons, you can simply relax. You have a fully automated indoor garden and that’s a tool kids will love.
Ready to choose your first indoor garden?
Read our ultimate smart garden guide here
Images (top to bottom): @jacob_carlos, @micki.morris / @doubleetoh, @aleksandra_glaza / @somedayilllearn, Jason Pogar