One of the things I love most about the homesteading lifestyle are the opportunities for learning for my son (and for me and my husband too truth be told). Even though we went against the homesteading trend and decided to try public school for Monkey Man, we still do our best to ensure his life with us is educational and enriched. Monkey had an eye appointment so I kept him home for the day and took advantage of the extra time in the morning by brushing up on our plant knowledge.
As a family who grows a lot of our own food and as a herbalist that makes medicine from plants, it’s of vital importance that my kiddo understands what plants are and how they work. This post will cover homeschooling or extracurricular learning for young kids about both the plant life cycle and the parts of the plant. We added in a review of photosynthesis and the water cycle just for fun (seriously he finds that stuff fun), but you can skip that part depending on your child’s age/knowledge level.
Parts of a Plant
Learning some basics about the different parts of a plant helps kids to understand how they work and why they look the way they do. Thanks to Pinterest I found lots of amazing resources. Whenever I undertake a homeschool lesson I like to provide Monkey with multiple learning tools. We always watch an instructional video, do a craft/art project, a worksheet and finally some actual time with the physical thing we’re talking about – in this case time outside looking at plants. Whenever possible we also do a science experiment and a cooking/baking exercise.
These worksheets were made by yours truly and I must admit I had a great time creating them. Prior to Monkey starting Junior Kindergarten we did a whole year of homeschooling preschool and I truly had a lot of fun coming up with creative ideas and projects for us to do together. Felt nice to stretch those muscles again.
Below you will find a labeling worksheet for the parts of the plants and a worksheet for the functions of each of those parts (matching worksheet). The second one also has an answer key.
You can download the PDF files below.
Monkey is a huge fan of Dr. Binocs so we were pretty excited when we found his video on plant parts. For good measure I posted a couple of others as well.
Having a varied approach to learning is extremely helpful. First, kids all learn differently; some kids are visual, some are hands on and others can absorb everything they read in a book. Secondly, art helps to exercise the creative parts of the brain so even when subject material is quite cerebral, incorporating art can help stimulate both parts of a child’s brain (creative and logic).
For this activity we used construction paper, glue and scissors. For the flowers and roots Monkey made sure his handprints had stretched out fingers and for the leaves he squished his fingers together. This would definitely work better on a larger piece of paper, but he still had a great time and that’s really what matters.
Note: He insisted that some of the seeds needed to fall down to the ground so new plants could be born; that’s the seeds on the stem 😉
Plant Life Cycle
My son loves to read. Whenever he’s suddenly gotten quiet it’s rarely because he’s causing mischief; he is often found with a nose in book. So there was no better way for us to learn about the life cycle of plants by watching/reading The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. I recommend borrowing this book from your local library or if that isn’t an option for you there is a video option that will still allow you and your kids to read along.
Monkey and I did this last year and it was awesome! Sprouting a seed in a jar is a great way for kids to visually see what we usually can’t see beneath the ground. Little Bins for Little Hands has a great tutorial on how to do this experiment as well as all the tools you need. Click on the image below to check it out.
I hope you and your kiddos have as much fun learning about plants as Monkey and I did.
Until next time,
P.S. Please pin for future use & to spread the plant knowledge love 😉