Summer | Air: Infants & Toddlers

Temperature: Too Hot, Too Cold!

Summary: As tiny gardeners start becoming more aware of their surroundings, they are ready to start engaging with more vocabulary and early math concepts like number recognition. Building their word and number awareness will help them as they learn how to care for their plants! 

Pre-Visit Planning: 

  • Gather: A yardstick, red tape or ribbon, pictures of warm and cool climates 
  • Explore: “No.5/ No. 22” by Mark Rothko and a thermometer. Point to the different colors and talk about how they feel warm or cool. Compare the red line in the painting with the red line on your thermometer. 
  • Read: Extreme Opposites by Max Dalton

In the Garden: 

The thermometer is an essential tool to a gardener. Learning how to read a thermometer helps tiny gardeners start to recognize numbers and connect the weather changes with life in the garden. 

Questions to Explore:

  • Can you name any of the numbers that you see on the yardstick or thermometer? 
  • How high can you count? Can you practice counting?
  • Let’s point to the numbers on the yardstick as we count. Raise your hand when we reach your age!


We use the thermometer to measure what the temperature of the air is outside. When the number is bigger, it means it is warmer. When the number is smaller, it means that it is cooler. 

  • Use the red tape or ribbon to turn your yardstick into a giant thermometer. 
  • When you choose a large number, have your gardener stand as tall as they can. When you choose a small number, have your gardener get as low to the ground as they can. 
  • As temperatures get warmer, our plants often grow taller! When temperatures are cool, our plants often shrivel, making them seem shorter. 
  • Continue to pick different temperatures but this time ask your gardener to choose a picture from your stack of hot/cold pictures that matches the temperature reading on your “thermometer.”

Beyond the Garden | Exploring an Atlas

Weather looks different all over the world. Start exploring a world atlas or map with your tiny gardener, pointing out where in the world it is warmest and where it is the coolest. Can you find pictures of these different climates? Explore bananas from Ecuador and potatoes from Peru. These different plants require different climates but they’re all delicious! 

Continue Exploring | Supporting Materials

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.