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Hi all,


It's been suggested to me that I might like to write up a topic or two for a proposed new resource area on the site, offering Topic guidance. Thus I am currently working on the theme 'Growing'.


What I'd like from anyone who feels so inclined is a bit of input in terms of activities, ideas, books etc that have been useful or worked particularly well for them in the past for inclusion. You don't need to go into too much detail unless you feel it really essential, just a few pointers would do. You can either post here or PM me, I'm easy.


I'm also kicking some ideas around for a Seasons topic, so you could also bear that in mind?




Sue :D

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Jaspers beanstalk is a good book for growing.

There are also a range of counting books involving seeds which are good for cross curricula links.


Then off the top of my head

Activities such as measuring each other- whos tallest etc.

Growing beans and bulbs in clear jars so you can see the roots, or in a root tv if you have one.

Life cycles- frog and butterfly, baby to adult

Wash baby

What things does a baby, child need, sorting activity.

Things I can do now that i couldn't do as a baby.




Kipper books- My rainy day. Sunny day- lift the flap books





Hope these are what you were looking for



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Depends what aspect you're after (humans or other). There are lots of books on growing - Jasper's Beanstalk, Billy and the sunflower (out of print), The tiny seed, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Butterfly Kiss, to name but a few. Also lots of stories about tadpoles turning into frogs.

We do lots of planting projects - beans, sunflowers, etc. We also grow a class amaryllis and measure it's growth each day. Very exciting for the children :D

We get in painted lady caterpillars from insect lore. Last year we linked up with BP who came and gave a free bugs roadshow to the children and then gave us some puss moth caterpillars (native, feed on willow) and some tropical silk moth larvae.

The RSPCA have a big education dept and they will come into schools to give talks and provide resources (you just need to discuss your requirements with them first).

Maths song: When I was one...

Looking at pictures of the children as babies.

Visit from mother and baby to look at how the children have changed

Sequencing pics of people baby to adult

Writing: When I was a baby I... Now I am five I...

Baby clinic role play


I could go on and on! I'm sure there is nothing new in this list, Sue, but it's a start...

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Thanks for your prompt replies :o I have no real slant as I want to keep it as open as possible in order that anyone that wishes to use it can go whatever way they want.


Keep adding, folks, I'm tracking this so I won't miss anything



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I have no planning at home anymore and with memory getting aged I might not be much use, but I used to like to put beans inside plastic bags and stick them onto the window so you could see the roots and shoots starting to grow. Cress is good for speed. One of the Titch books had something about a seed growing. Carrot tops in water (didnt work last time I tried) but they can show growth. How about celery/carnation in coloured water to show how the plant feeds. I've been reading vegetable books, they say there to plant lettuce seeds a week apart so you have constant supply. That would show change and growth. The only other books I can think of were the Little Red Hen and The enormous turnip.

Gosh I feel really rusty xD:o

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Thank you humbly Rea!!

I'd forgotten that lovely Titch book, and in my excitement, completely overlooked the colouring of the carnation!!


Please keep them coming, I'm very grateful.........



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Sue R, Rather than tell you what I have used for the theme of growing ( which is similar to previous comments) I can tell you what I would like to gain from your article.

I am not green fingered, therefore when I embark on a "Growing" theme, I duly visit Nursery's ( THE PLANT KIND), to get some ideas of what to grow. I then discover that what I would like to grow, or more importantly what is a good plant for the children to grow ( ie: non poisenous, grows fast, grows big, lots of colour,texture,scent, taste (herbs) etc ) is out of season, should have been planted 3 weeks ago, needs to be planted and laid in a dark cupboard for 3 months or some other similar instruction and all that I am left with is the option of growing cress ( which isn't a bad idea but quite repetative if you attend my preschool :oxD .

So what I would really appreciate from your artical is an annual calender of what is good to grow when. :D Thank you in advance.




p.s. just like to share:


I'm a little seed, small and round,

bury me deep in the ground.

Sprinkle on some rain water, some sunshine too,

watch me grow as tall as you.

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Wont have far to grow then, I'm 5 foot! :o


I'd echo Peggy's request too. I never knew what to grow. We had a tiny area with pots in, no sunlight and little rain. Inside we couldnt leave anything out of our cupboard which was damp and dark, mushrooms maybe but nothing else.


Sunflowers were used once for fundraising, it was many years ago so I cant remember the exact details. I think the parents were asked to take photos, it also made them actually plant it and look after it, not a common occurance in our playgroup. xD:D

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If you go to the growing schools website (use search engine) the government are running "The great vegetable challenge" comepetition. Once you register (no obligation to actually enter the competition) they will send you a free resource pack containing a big poster showing what to grow and when :)


I agree about the cress being boring after a while, Peggy, have you tried dried peas or mung beans? It's also great fun watching garlic cloves rooting in water.

And while I remember, I was on a course at Wisley this week and they say NOW is the time to sow sweet peas (must be kept cool). If you plant them in toilet rolls (or similar) the whole lot can be planted in the ground once the roots come through. I've only ever grown them in the spring...

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Planting much the same as everyone else - cress, sunflowers, mung beans, broad beans. We have grown an amaryllis over water - fascinating and very quick growing once it's started - only trouble is they always seem to flower over the Easter holidays, so we're tempted by the bulging bud, but by the time we go back to school and it's in flower it starts to fade :o Making Mr. Grass head using tights, compost and grass seeds.


We look for seeds in fruit and plant these.

Playing with sycamore keys.

Sorting seeds according to size, shape, colour.

Ordering seeds by size.

Make seed collages.

Make musical instruments using variety of seeds.


Books - Sam plants a sunflower - Kate Petty and Axek Scheffler

Rosie plants a radish (I think that's the title)

Doing the Garden - Sarah Garland

The Sunflower That went Flop


Look forward to seeing your final piece Sue.


Best wishes - Harricroft

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