Fall | Plants: Infants & Toddlers

Harvest: How Tall?

Summary: Just as our plants are growing, so too are our tiny gardeners. As our plants near harvest, we will compare the height of our plants to the height of our gardeners. 

Before Visiting the Garden: 

Gather: Yardstick or measuring tape, container for harvesting veggies, wooden stake, and kid-safe paint

Explore: “Wheatfield with Reaper” by Vincent Van Gogh. What colors do you see in this painting?

Read: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert

In the Garden: 

Harvest time is great for little gardeners as there are many smells, colors, and textures to explore. Wander the garden for a bit telling your gardener about what you see and feel using lots of descriptive words.

Questions to Explore:

What colors do you see in the garden?

Can you find the tallest plant in the garden?

Which plant is the shortest? 

Do you smell any veggies or herbs? 


  1. After locating the tallest plant, use your measuring tape to determine the plant’s height. Number recognition is just beginning for our tiny gardener, so write the height in the dirt and help your gardener trace the numbers. 
  2. Measure your gardener’s height and write that in the dirt. Do the same with the smallest plant in the garden. 
  3. Mark your gardener’s height on the stake and today’s date. 
  4. Work together to decorate your stake. 
  5. Save your stake and use it next season to tie up your tomatoes and be sure to make your gardener’s growth over the winter. You can also come back through the winter and use your stake to measure snowfall in the garden.

Before you leave the garden, take a few moments to gently collect some fresh produce to try with dinner tonight. Young children are willing to try a broad range of foods; they just need our help to access it! If your gardener is quite young, gently steam and puree veggies for them to try. 

Beyond the Garden | Creative Measuring:

Who says you need a ruler to measure? Tiny gardeners are great at collecting items—use that drive to collect blocks or Tupperware with them. Take your collection around the house or yard and use it to measure heights. Is your coffee table three blocks high? The kitchen sink four Tupperware containers wide?

Continue Exploring | Supporting Materials:

Recipes for kids—be sure to include your little one in prep as they can help measure ingredients:https://letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/recipes-kids-kids

Note for Parents:
Each lesson suggests you explore a piece of artwork and read a specific book with your child. The artwork and books are easily available for view with an online search. However, these suggestions are not necessary to complete the lessons.

Guiding Principles


Learning, though not always visible, is always happening. The lessons are designed using inquiry as a base. Rather than “right answers” be more concerned with asking good questions.


Things may not go as planned. The lessons are designed to be used in whatever way works best for you. You can use all of the lesson or just pull a piece out of it.


Planting and cultivating a garden is believing in possibility. The lessons are designed to generate excitement about the future.


Each lesson includes a way to take the learning out into the community for more learning and more connection.


When a young child’s innate curiosity is unleashed in a garden the possibilities are endless. Any topic is open for exploration.


You will get dirty. There will be bugs.