Winter | Soil: Infants & Toddlers

The Winter Blues…and Reds, Yellows, Purples: Color Your Imagination 

Summary: Bringing color to a winter white landscape, our tiny gardeners will use construction paper and other colorful materials to create window gardens. 

Before Visiting the Garden: 

  • Gather: 12”x18” white cardstock or watercolor paper and a variety of colorful materials: markers, crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, pom-poms, foam shapes and stickers, magazine or newspaper clippings, etc. (be creative!), glue, and scissors 
  • Explore: A bouquet of flowers from the grocery store and/or images of Dale Chihuly’s “Fiori Di Como” 
  • Read: Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

In the Garden:

Winter in many areas is often the least colorful time of the year. We can still make our own fun, though, with color. This a great season for art projects and planning for spring planting. 


  • Have your gardener explore the flowers you bought.
  • Can you sort them by color? 
  • How many of each color are there?
  • Do these remind you of any other flowers? Did we grow any flowers like these in our garden?

Questions to Explore:

  • If colors were temperatures, which color makes you feel warm? Which color feels cool?
  • What kind of flowers would you like to have in your own garden? Why?
  • Walk around the garden imagining where you would plant flowers in the spring.
  • Can you plant some of the flower stems into the snow to create a colorful winter garden?  


  1. Brainstorm the colors and shapes of plants you want to include in your paper-window garden. 
  2. Work with your gardener to pick out different colors and patterns from your materials. Let them practice their “pincer grip” grabbing pom-poms. Help tiny fingers learn to cut and enjoy the sensory experience of glue as you begin putting the pieces onto the white cardstock together. 
  3. Talk to your gardener about the color, texture, and feel of the materials to help them develop their descriptive vocabulary. Link the project to gardening by explaining that master gardeners often sketch out their garden dreams in the winter as they plan for spring! 
  4. Once complete, hang it in a window to add some extra color to your home.

Beyond the Garden | Garden Store Exploring

Continue to give your tiny gardener opportunities to explore materials outside of the house and add to their paper-window garden (or create a new one). Visit your local hardware or garden store. They may have seeds and garden planning materials to explore. You could create a collage with seed packets or build a seed band by inviting more gardeners to get together and shake, shake, shake some seeds!

Continue Exploring | Supporting Materials

Visit an indoor garden: 

More ideas:

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.