This Garden Exploration Table idea was brought to us by guest blogger Julie Kieras at HappyStrongHome.
Spring is nearly here! While we still have snow on the ground and the weather is raw and rainy here, the kids and I decided to bring a little spring indoors.
I set up a garden exploration table for them to welcome spring. Think of an exploration table like a sensory bin gone gigantic! Yes, it took me an entire table to fit all the cool garden activities and tools they discovered.
The boys donned their gardening tool belt and explorer outfits and got their hands dirty! They moved from activity to activity at their leisure, asking questions, drawing, coloring, painting, and digging in real dirt!
The exploration table with a garden theme was slightly messy, but their excitement was totally worth it!
Here are just a few ways they played with their garden exploration table.
- Use flower and bug puzzles as a tactile introduction to elements of spring gardens.
- Trace the puzzle pieces into a handmade garden journal.
- Use a watering can for paintbrushes to paint watercolor sheets with a garden focus.
- Talk about ladybugs and why they have spots while coloring pop-up art sheets.
- Spell the word “GARDEN” with magnetic letters on a cookie sheet.
- Inspect bugs under a magnifying glass (We used plastic bugs this time. Although usually the house has a few ladybugs wandering around, none were available for our activity!)
- Dig for bugs in a sand pail of dirt.
- Load a dump truck with nature finds from outdoors. If you can’t get outdoors, load up with play bugs and puzzle pieces.
- Plant seeds in mini pots or egg cartons.
We love our garden exploration table and how it keeps our focus on sunshine and spring flowers! Both boys loved the seed planting process so much, they dumped the seeds out and replanted them several times!
Although the dirt parts of the exploration table required supervision with little ones, the rest of the activities I left out for them to enjoy the rest of the week at their leisure. I added in some picture books about gardens and plants, rocks and seeds.
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