Museum & Gardens

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Play Along! The Magic of a Seed

This week’s song is inspired by our beautiful gardens, especially our brand new Victory Garden!

There are so many things to learn in Hot Toast Music Co.’s songs each week. Let’s learn together and make discoveries! Each week’s Singalong Saturdays will include ways to connect ideas in the songs to fun at-home activities you can do together as a family. Simple activities are multidisciplinary and appropriate for a wide variety of learners. They include storytime, artmaking, science explorations, film suggestions, discussion prompts, and more!


Storytime! If You Plant a Seed

Download Activity Guide

Song: The Magic of a Seed

Step One: Watch the song, and sing along! (

Try this Next!

Join Miss Jenny and read If You Plant a Seed written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson (

Watch this beautiful video, Pom Pom Pom, to get an idea of how seeds become new plants! (

Watch this stunning video visual for a secret look at what happens in flower gardens, Story of Flowers ( )

Talk about it!

Just like a seed, you need energy and water to grow! We all need food, love, attention and support in order to grow our strongest! Everything around us needs help to grow.

  • What are ways you are growing?
  • Are there ways you can help your family to grow? What about your friends?
  • What are some healthy foods that you love to eat?

Philbrook is planting a Victory Garden! A Victory Garden is an edible garden that is planted with the purpose of sharing the crops with the community. Read about what Philbrook and other museums are doing here: (

Get Outside!

Garden activities are a wonderful way to get outside and get your hands dirty! Nature and garden-centric activities engage all the senses and develop fine and gross motor skills. Here are a few suggestions of easy outdoor activities that you and your child might love!

  • Pressing flowers and leaves- Have your child search around and pick small flowers to be pressed in an old book. How many sizes can you find? How many colors do you see?
  • Planting seeds- It’s fun to get your hands dirty and plant your own food! Children are more invested in trying new foods, if they know they grew it themselves.
  • Go for a nature treasure hunt walk- Walk around your yard, neighborhood or hiking trials and pick up as many cool things that you can find- rocks, small sticks, dead bugs, pinecones, anything! Take these things home and place in a jar to remember your fun nature walk.
  • Natural material stamps- anything in nature can be a stamp. Grab some leaves, pinecones, rocks, or anything you can find! Then cover your material with paint and stamp onto paper.
  • Create Miss Jenny’s play dough recipe (, then stamp materials you find outside into the play dough. Can you add herbs and other natural materials that smell good? Once the play dough dries, you have a cute reminder of nature inside your home.

Creative Challenges: Combine Art and Nature

  1. Nature Smash Painting

This is a wonderful sensory project that explores color and using motor skills. It also engages your eyes and sense of smell! Using what you have your own backyard, you will be able to paint with nature.

What you will need:

  1. A basket to collect your nature items
  2. A spray bottle filled with water
  3. Watercolor paper

Grab a basket and get outside and talk a walk around your yard. You will see many different flowers, grasses, leaves, berries, dirt, anything! Look around at all the different colors and textures. (Try to first pick flowers or leaves that have fallen on the ground already). How many colors can you find? Do all your items have different textures?

After you have several specimens to experiment with, you will need to prep your paper by spraying the watercolor paper very lightly. Or use a wet rag and lightly run it over the paper.

After the paper is slightly wet, get to work! Smash and rub your different items on the paper and see what beautiful colors show through. You may also want to try painting with your feet to see if you get a different effect.

What items work well for nature painting? What items do not work as well?

  1. Nature Paintbrushes

Did you know you can make stamps and paintbrushes out of things you find in nature? This is a great way to learn about different textures that are found all around us.  So, grab your shoes, and go for a walk to collect your materials.

What you will need:

  • Twigs
  • Twine (raffia, yarn or any kind of thicker string will work)
  • Rubber bands, hair ties, or elastic
  • Materials for bristles (tree needles, tree buds, grass)
  • Starting with twig has the brush handle, you will gather several bristles together around the end of the stick. The more bristles, the more texture your brush will have.
  • This is where a rubber band comes in handy, you will want to twist the rubber band around the bristles to keep them on the end of the brush. This will be easy for adults, but it will be good fine motor skill practice for little hands.
  • After the rubber band is securely around the bristles and the twig, you will begin wrapping the string around the same end of the stick. See below in the picture for the easiest way to get started with this wrapping and how to finish the knot off.
  • And there is your brush! Now grab some paint and paper and see what beautiful designs you can make!
Download Activity Guide