Early Childhood

Building a Maze


Mazes are an engaging and fun addition to any youth garden. They can be made from a wide variety of materials depending on the resources and space available. Design and installation of the maze hones math and art skills.

The Changing Garden


Students will:

  • observe the changes in the garden throughout the day and year.
  • understand and appreciate that nature is constantly changing.

Central Concepts

The garden is a dynamic environment that changes in appearance daily and seasonally.


  • drawing paper
  • an easel or clipboard
  • colored pencils

Discussion Topics

What are some of the changes that take place in our garden?

Does the garden look the same in the morning as it does in the afternoon?

Make a Garden Art Box

The garden is full of inspiration for budding artists. You can easily transform your garden into an exciting art studio by providing a few supplies and time for creativity and observation.


Students will create a supply box to use in the garden for art projects. With the cover on, the box also provides an outdoor work surface.

Personalizing the Garden

When kids develop a sense of ownership in your youth garden both the program and the children thrive. Children engaged in planning and caring for the garden tend to take on responsibility and put more effort into garden maintenance and learning activities. You can also nurture the child-garden relationship by inviting them to add a personal touch to the space. Here are a few ideas...

Community Planning Event


  • To engage students, parents, teachers, staff, and other community members in planning the garden.
  • To increase and strengthen support for the school gardening program to ensure its sustainability.

Central Concept

By facilitating a planning event, students will see the benefit of collective brainstorming and develop connections in their community. It will also help foster ownership in all program participants.

Give a Garden


Students will:

  • Reflect on and discuss ways that plants support human health and well-being
  • Give a plant or a container garden to a group or individual that can benefit from a gift of plants


Container for planting, plants, bagged soil mix, basin for moistening soil

How Trees Work

Trees are essential workhorses in our environment, providing us with oxygen to breathe; foods such as apples, hazelnuts, and maple syrup to eat; and wood for our houses, paper products, and furniture. In nature, trees provide housing for birds, insects, and other animals. They filter water and absorb carbon. For more on all that trees do in our ecosystems, check out the article “Digging Deeper with Trees." Their importance is evident, but how do trees actually work?

Engaging Students through Citizen Science

In schoolyards, backyards, and classrooms throughout North America – and beyond – students of all ages scan the skies for monarchs, monitor milkweed, document hummingbird arrivals, snap ladybug photos, notice nests, interview gardeners, report on bursting buds, and observe the color of firefly flashes. And that’s just for starters. In most cases, their next step is to go online and send their observations and measurements to a project website.

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Kids Gardening and the National Gardening Association actively work with schools and communities across the country to provide educational resources and build gardens to promote health, wellness, and sustainability.


Copyright © 1999-2014 National Gardening Association     |     www.kidsgardening.org & www.garden.org      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 10/19/2014
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