Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Chalice Children: A Program about Our Unitarian Universalist Community for Preschoolers

Taking It Home: The Beauty of Nature

Earth was given as a garden . . . — Hymn 207 in Singing the Living Tradition

IN TODAY'S SESSION . . . the theme was the beauty of nature. We celebrated the wonder of the changing of seasons, and the growth of flowers from seeds and bulbs. Sharing the miracle of growing things helps children identify their feelings of joy and appreciation as part of living in the interdependent web.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. . . . Grow the bean seed in the bag! Place the sealed plastic bag near a sunny window. For a seed to germinate, it needs water, material to grow in, and warmth from sunlight. When all these needs have been met, the seed soaks up the water through the seed coat. The tiny plant inside the seed starts to grow larger and larger. Once the plant is too big for the seed, the seed coat breaks open. First a root pops out, and after a while you'll see the shoot that contains the stem and leaves. When there are two or three leaves, the plant is ready to make its own food and to be planted in a pot with soil. (Adapted from Green Education Foundation, "How to Grow Beans in a Plastic Bag.")

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... making other bags of seeds, to grow different types of beans. Plant bulbs outdoors, or force a bulb indoors.

A Family Adventure. Take a walk and explore what is happening during the change of seasons.

A Family Discovery. Online, learn about a preschool class who grew their own bean seeds or watch an animated video about the germination of a seed.

A Family Game. Invite your child to play the Growing Like a Seed game. Invite them to roll themselves into a ball on the floor or on your lap. Describe the process of growing from a seed to a seedling by telling the story of a seed:

Once there was a little seed, all small and hard. Look at the little seed!

It was planted under the soil. [cover your child with a towel or blanket]

The seed felt a little water trickling around it one day. It tickled! [lightly tickle your child]

Then the seed felt the warmth of the sun. [pat your child]

The seed started to get bigger! [ask your child if they can grow a bit bigger but still stay a seed]

And bigger . . . [ditto]

Until—POP! A little root broke open the seed and started to grow. [gently pull out one of your child's legs]

The root grew and grew . . . [encourage your child to extend their leg]

Until—POP! A little sprout broke open the seed. [gently pull out one of your child's arms]

The little seed was now a seedling. It grew and grew until the sprout grew right out of the soil. [uncover your child]

And the root grew down, and the sprout grew up, and the sun made it all warm. [encourage your child to stretch up and feel the sun]

Finally, two little leaves popped out of the sprout . . . [gently open your child's hands to form leaves]

And there was a little seedling!

A Family Ritual. Create a fall bouquet of flowers, dried grasses, and leaves for your dinner table.