Fall | Sun: Infants & Toddlers

Seed + Sun + Soil = Harvest

Summary: Using a familiar story, The Little Red Hen, we will explore and reenact the fun we had over this past growing season. Invite some friends and together we will put on a play with our tiny gardeners

Before Visiting the Garden: 

Gather: Costumes—this can be anything-including feathers or a red scarf, for our little red hen, a brown shirt or scarf, for your cat, etc. Large seeds such as corn or beans, a loaf of bread, and a picnic blanket.

Explore: Pictures of barns. Who do you think lives here? Do you see any animals?

Read: The Little Red Hen by Byron Barton—there are many versions of this story, any will do. This particular version has simple language and high contrast images for our littlest readers. 

In the Garden: 

Today we are going to get in touch with our inner actor! As gardeners grow, they learn how to interact with other people and their environment through imaginative play. As you walk around the garden, try to imagine the garden as a stage and the plants your props:

Questions to Explore:

What part of the garden do you think would make a good house?

Who would live in this house?

Where would the kitchen be?

What is the first meal you would cook in your garden house? 


Now that you’ve familiarized your tiny gardener with the story and the set, our garden, pull out your props!

  1. Choose your location and assign the characters
  2. Help your actor put on their costume
  3. As you read the story, walk your actors through their different parts
  4. When you finish your play, sit together and share your loaf of bread! You can add fresh, ripe produce from the garden to your post play feast. Talk together about how we help each other in the garden so it can grow. 

Beyond the Garden | Visit the Library for Story Time:

Many libraries sponsor story time for children. These story times are a great opportunity for your child to meet other kids and practice their social skills in addition to learning about fun stories from around the world. Check with your local library for schedules. 

Continue Exploring | Supporting Materials:

Short plays to put on from PBS Kids: https://ideastream.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/arct14.arts.artplay/play-maker/

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.