STEM Learning

STEM Activity for Kids: How To Plant A Garden

March / 2021

If you’re looking for fun STEM activities to do outside, planting a garden is a great option covering all four STEM categories.

It’s spring, and we’re excited to start playing and learning outside again! If you’re looking for fun STEM activities to do outside, planting a garden is a great option covering all four STEM categories.

Learn how planting a garden helps grow STEM skills, and then discover ways to do this activity at your home!

How to Improve STEM Skills by Planting a Garden

Science: Study the growth patterns of the plants you use, feel the different textures of the leaves, observe the effects of weather, and track the kind of insects that are attracted to each plant.

Technology: Discuss the different types of tools that can help your garden thrive, or you could discuss the types of machines that help large gardens or farms scale. 

Engineering: Have your child design the look and location of your garden! Take into account space, sunlight, soil, and water needed to help plants grow. Try drawing a diagram of where your garden will be and its size. 

Math: If you decide to grow different types of plants, they may need different amounts of water, soil, and sunlight, which is a great math exercise! You can also look at what percentage of your garden thrives and the percentage breakdown of different plant types.

Plan Your Garden

Before you begin planting anything, you’ll need to decide what kind of garden you’d like to grow.

You’ll want to consider these questions:

  • Do you have space in the backyard, or is there space in a community garden?

  • Would you like to plant your garden in pots or the ground?

  • What types of plants would you like to grow? Vegetables, flowers, herbs, or something else?

  • If you’re planting in your backyard, how much space do you need?

  • If you’re planting in pots, do you have a dedicated spot for them?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin planning your garden and thinking about it as a science experiment. Make predictions about which plants will grow faster, and record everything in a tracker. Plan to treat plants differently or use different tools or fertilizers and record your plants' different reactions as you go along!

If you've decided to plant in your backyard, have your child design your garden's look and location. Take into account space, sunlight, soil, and water needed for each plant type. Get some grid paper and design the dimensions of your garden.

Plant Your Seeds

Your garden is planned! Now you can gather the supplies needed to plant it! You’ll need most, if not all, of these things:

  • Seeds

  • Gardening tools

  • Soil

  • Water

  • Sunlight or lamp

  • Fertilizer or other plant food (optional)

  • Pots (optional)

Plant your seeds, and begin to treat them according to the predictions you’ve previously made.

Here are some questions for this stage:

  • Will you use different types of tools with certain plants to see which works better?

  • Will you use varying amounts of water or sunlight for each type of seed?

  • What would be different if you were growing a larger garden or growing food on a farm?

Watch Them Grow

Now that you planted your seeds, watch them grow! Make sure you’re recording changes in the plants in your tracker.

Study the growth patterns of the different plants.

Here are some questions you can ask at this stage:

  • Are some growing faster than others? Maybe some are growing straight up and down, and others are growing at an angle?

  • How has the weather or sunlight affected your plants? Has it helped or hindered growth?

  • Have you noticed any insects around your plants? Which insects are attracted to your different plant types?

Review the Results

Congratulations! You have a fully grown garden!

Now that your seeds have grown into full-sized plants, review your predictions from the planning stage.

Were your predictions correct? How did your expectations change as your plants grew?

One math exercise would be to calculate what percentage of your garden thrived.

We hope you enjoy your newly grown garden, and now that you know which plants thrived, you can successfully plan to plant more!

Discover More STEM Activities

For more STEM activities, check out our Spring Bucket List and Summer Bucket List.

For a way to improve STEM skills in any season, check out Blocks Rock!