Grow Something to Give
SIMPLE SAFE SERVICE
Simple Safe Service activities are designed to spark generous action and youth and family conversations for the good of all.
We depend on food systems to live and be healthy. Many children do not understand where food comes from. This science activity encourges exploration of seeds and the best conditions for growing. After successfully growing a plant, put it in an attractive recycled container and give it as a gift to brighten someone's day.
- Observe the plants that grow best around the house and neighborhood, and talk about the conditions required (sun, warmth, light, soil).
- Look in the refrigerator for food items that contain seeds, such as oranges, apples, beans, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and melons. While preserving the food for eating, remove and gently rinse the seeds.
- Read about the best conditions for growing and make a care plan. To germinate seeds, wet a paper towel and put a few seeds on it. Fold the paper towel with the seeds inside and put it in a small resealable plastic bag. Do this with a variety of seeds and make a few paper towel packets of each seed type.
- To experiment with and learn about best conditions, put seeds in different places. For example, put some bean seeds in the dark and some in the light. Put some squash seeds directly in soil and some in the wet paper towel.
- Keep a log of what you observe each day and whether you add water, move them, or plant them in soil in a recycled container. Measure and describe any growth.
- BONUS: Consider these ideas and questions -- Create a photo journal about your plants. What insects are attracted to your garden? Spend some time watching/observing your plants or garden and reflect on what you notice. Why are worms important to your garden? What do you know about worm farms? Did you know we all eat roots, flowers, stems and leaves? Can you name the ones you and your family eat the most?
- When the plants are large enough, put them in a decorated recycled pot and give the plants to neighbors or donate to shelters.
- BONUS: This is a great activity to observe worms and ants. Use a plexiglass box filled with dirt and worms so you can see them at work. Try the same thing with ants! You'll see them tunneling through the dirt crawling, carrying, and building before your eyes. Log what you observe.
- Learn more with a Learning to Give lesson Garden for Life
Reflection: Read the log notes and observe the plant growth. Write about what conditions helped grow a healthy plant.
Literacy Connection: These books encourage thinking, and understanding of the lifecycle, and the life of an insect. The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle; Jacks Garden by Henry Cole; Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer; Are you an Ant? by Judy Allen
Double the impact of your service by posting it on social media with the Hasbro and Design for Change hashtag #DoGoodFromHome. For every simple safe act of service youth do, Hasbro will donate a toy to a daycare center where essential workers send their kids.
Find more Simple Safe Service activities.
Learning to Give ...
- educates youth about philanthropy, the civil society sector, and the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure for the common good (knowledge),
- equips youth by encouraging philanthropic behavior and experience (skills), and,
- empowers youth to take voluntary citizen action for the common good in their classrooms, lives and communities (behavior).