Exploring Seeds Simple Science for Preschoolers
Exploring seeds in foods is fun and easy with this hands-on preschool activity. Be prepared to get a little messy as you dig into fruits and vegetables to observe the seeds.
Have you eaten any foods today that required the removing seeds?
Were you able to eat some foods whole, seeds and all?
Exploring seeds starts with real-life handling foods.
Opportunities to handle foods - washing, peeling and chopping - enrich kids understanding of real-life situations.
In this activity, you'll get some ideas for exploring seeds in various ways.
- comparing size and quantity of seeds in different foods
- identifying the color and texture of the seeds.
As well, hands-on learning in activities like this one with seeds promotes interest in future exploration and discovery.
Enjoy the fun and learning this simple activity provides for kids.
Exploring seeds in foods
These simple activities exploring seeds support STEM or STEAM learning in everyday play.
Why is exploring seeds a STEAM activity?
Making observations and comparisons, using various utensils, identifying colors and textures - these are all skills that incorporate STEAM principles.
STEAM =Science + Technology + Engineering + Art+ Math
Here is how STEAM principles are realized in this activity:
- Science: exploring how foods grow from seeds
- Technology: using tools to slice and dig
- Engineering: planning and setting up the activity, assembling appropriate tools
- Art: naming colors of foods and seeds
- Math: counting seeds, comparing sizes of seeds
All these elements help build language and cognitive skills as preschoolers play and learn.
For more fun with kitchen science, take a look at this book in the STEAM KIDS series.
STEAM KIDS in the KITCHEN
Set up your seeds activity
Protect your work area with a drop cloth.
Wash and pat dry fruits and vegetables.
Provide a tray to display produce, and a cutting board for chopping and slicing.
Provide child-safe utensils. This plastic knife set is meant for kids to use, but do have an edge. Naturally any play with utensils should be supervised.
Observe the seeds
Cut each food open to expose the seed(s).
Cut foods on a cutting board, then transfer to a tray for observation and removal of seeds.
Choose foods that are easy for kids to slice such as peaches, and assist with cutting other foods such as firm apples and peppers.
Related: Painting with pepper stems
Observe seeds before removing them from the food.
- Can you easily see the seeds?
- Can you easily count the seeds?
- Compare the different sizes or colors of seeds.
- Where are the seeds located inside the food?
Remove the seeds from the foods for further examination.
- How easy is it to remove the seeds?
- What utensil did you use?
- How do they feel and smell?
Make comparisons by size and weight.
Identify the different colors and describe the textures.
Match each food to its seed(s).
Make a seeds graph
Draw a simple graph on card stock.
Place seeds on the graph to determine which food has the most seeds and which has the least number of seeds.
More ideas for discussion:
- How did you get to the seeds inside the food? (i.e. peel, chop)
- Can you eat the seeds?
- Compare foods with seeds to foods without visible seeds. (i.e. carrot, onion)
Seeds are easy to use in kids activities - they're cheap and plentiful and readily available in foods you have on hand.
Exploring seeds in the foods they eat can prompt kids to ask questions about how foods grow, how they are harvested and stored, and how they reach our dinner table.
By exploring and experimenting with a variety of materials, kids strengthen cognitive learning skills as they play.
Add this simple science to your daily activities for some hands-on fun with STEAM!