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A project of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Activities

For Families

Educational fun for the whole family

Nature is all around us. We invite you and your family to join Budburst and take time to be outdoors, to enjoy nature, and to observe how plants in your yard and community change with the seasons. Here you will find activities to do with your children and ways the whole family can become part of an ecological record. Spend time with Budburst, the outdoors, your family and with plants. After all, it’s the community scientist way. Enjoy!

Why Family Activities?

Watching nature together as a family puts learning in a social context. It makes facts more meaningful to the child and more likely to be remembered. In these activities, spending time together and talking to each other is more important than getting the facts all right. This is about having fun and enjoying nature all around you. While you’re at it, your child will be using STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) without even realizing he or she is learning.

  1. Pre-K-Kindergarten

    Budburst Buddies (story and activity)

    Siga la historia de Lily y Sage mientras ellas aprenden sobre los cuentos que las plantas pueden contarnos mientras se hacen observaciones sobre qué partes de las plantas se pueden ver. Luego, use las hojas de observación para salir y hacer sus propias observaciones para convertirse en Budburst Buddy. Esto es especialmente divertido en primavera, cuando se pueden descubrir las primeras hojas y flores.

  2. Pre-K-Kindergarten

    Weather Dash

    Intente este divertido juego activo en el que los jugadores cambian las ropas que visten según la temporada utilizando elementos que se encuentran en casa. Utilice el "juego" para inculcar la conciencia de los cambios de estación y la comprensión de lo que eso significa para nosotros y otros seres vivos. Comprender cómo cambia la temperatura y el clima a lo largo del año proporciona una base para comprender más adelante, los ciclos de vida de las plantas.

  3. Pre-K-Kindergarten

    Rooting for a Salad from Scraps

    Before discarding into the compost bin, see what plant parts can be reused to plant a new crop of vegetables. Save the plants you don’t eat to create a new garden full of vegetables that will fill your table all summer.

  4. Pre-K-Kindergarten

    Plant Parts in the Kitchen (recipe and activity)

    What plants are on your plate? Roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits! Learn about plants and plant parts by cooking with them and eating the result with this fun activity nourishing for body and mind. Use the recipe for plant-part stir fry to teach your kids about plants, while also encouraging them to help prepare and eat healthy, natural foods.

  5. Pre-K-Kindergarten

    Crocus Counting

    ¡Vaya afuera y CUENTE! Vea cuántas purple crocuses puede encontrar en su jardín o en su vecindario. Ejercite su cuerpo y sus habilidades de observación, ambos son esenciales para el aprendizaje de STEM. Escribir lo que se ve y hacer un registro es una práctica que todos los científicos hacen para estudiar la naturaleza.

  6. Grades 1-4

    Crazy Cactus Adventure (regional, desert ecosystem)

    Try this easy, active scavenger hunt for crazy-looking cacti that showcase the adaptability of desert plants. Noticing how desert plants are alike and different uses observation skills that are general STEM skills and reveals the diversity of plants. Children benefit from exposure to a variety of different plants because it builds appreciation for biodiversity and the wonder of nature.

  7. Grades 1-4

    Searching for Plant Prizes

    This nature-based scavenger hunt will have the whole family working together to find as many nature-based items outside as they can, for a reward of the plant prize! Get outdoors and check out some of the parts of plants that can be easily observed.

  8. Grades 1-4

    Plant Parts in the Kitchen (recipe and activity)

    What plants are on your plate? Roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits! Learn about plants and plant parts by cooking with them and eating the result with this fun activity nourishing for body and mind. Use the recipe for plant-part stir fry to teach your kids about plants, while also encouraging them to help prepare and eat healthy, natural foods.

  9. Grades 1-4

    Flower Power

    As a family, choose at least two different kinds of flowering plants and describe the parts they have in common and how each looks different. Noticing how flowers are alike and different uses observation skills that are general STEM skills and also reveal the diversity of plants. Looking at a variety of plants helps children understand the biodiversity of life.

  10. Grades 1-4

    How Old is That Tree?

    This fun family activity will engage you with nature and show you two ways to find out how long a tree has been growing. This activity uses basic math skills to understand how trees grow. You can do it once, but it’s even more interesting to take measurements of the same tree over time and compare and graph the results for real STEM learning.

  11. Grades 1-4

    Rooting for a Salad from Scraps

    Before discarding into the compost bin, see what plant parts can be reused to plant a new crop of vegetables. Save the plants you don’t eat to create a new garden full of vegetables that will fill your table all summer.

  12. Grades 5-8

    How old is that tree?

    This fun family activity will engage you with nature and show you two ways to find out how long a tree has been growing. This activity uses basic math skills to understand how trees grow. You can do it once, but it’s even more interesting to take measurements of the same tree over time and compare and graph the results for real STEM learning.

  13. Grades 5-8

    Living, Breathing Plants

    Would placing petroleum jelly over your nostrils make it more difficult to breathe? (Don’t try it!). Discover how plants “breathe” by smearing petroleum jelly over different parts of a leaf. This activity has you working together as a family, planning an investigation, observing and recording results, and drawing conclusions like a real scientist. These are STEM skills that will carry over to school or other academic learning.

  14. Grades 5-8

    Backyard BioBlitz

    Try your hand at identifying plants and discover the great variety of plants (biodiversity), even in your own yard. You don’t know what’s there until you try to find out. This activity challenges kids to notice the biodiversity in their own environment, exercising a host of STEM practices while making them more aware of their surroundings.

Do your part for our planet. Join Budburst today.

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Budburst is a project of the
Chicago Botanic Garden

One of the treasures of the
Forest Preserves of Cook County

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