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When children are exploring the outdoors, watch for expressions of curiosity about plants. Encourage them to take a closer look at the basic parts of plants using a magnifying glass. Ask children about the similarities and differences between plants (e.g., number of leaves).

Questions You May Ask 

⚙What do you notice about the plants?  

⚙What different parts do you see? 

⚙Do you see any plants that have a problem? What is the problem? How can you solve the problem?

⚙How many [leaves, stems, petals, flowers] does this plant have?

⚙Which plant has the most [leaves, stems, petals, flowers]?

Related Children's Books

The Tiny Seed  by Eric Carle

Plants Can't Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch

Oh! Say Can You Seed? All About Flowering Plants by Bonnie Worth



⚙2 years and up

Time and Place

⚙ Any time of day

⚙ Any time of year

⚙ Outdoors


⚙ Magnifying glass


Optional Materials 

​⚙Materials for solving identified problems (e.g., sticks to help prop up plants)                            


​⚙Supervise children at all times

​⚙Dress children appropriately for weather (e.g., hats, sunscreen, coat)


Play-based Context

While children were walking in the park, the educator noticed how fascinated the children were with the plants growing along the path. The next day, they returned to explore the different plants more closely.


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