Plant Life Cycle For Kids: A Study In The Life Of A Plant

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Plant Life Cycle For Kids_ A Study In The Life Of A Plant A unit study on the plant lifecycle. Nature study in the garden

The Life Of A Plant

We will be studying the life cycle of a plant in order to better understand life in the garden as a whole. We can learn about the whole garden ecosystem by observing and investigating one plant. By zeroing in on one plant for this plant life cycle for kids study we can be much more thorough and create deeper connections. 

Charlotte Mason believed that you could easily spend a full year studying one man and learn so much about the time period in which he lived, the geography in which he traveled, and anywhere else the biography would take the reader. By focusing on one man, things become much more personal and interesting. You get to see how the world was from that person’s perspective.

Using Charlotte Mason’s nature study methods, we want to do this with the life of a plant. 

By focusing on the life of just one plant in our garden study, we can: 

~be more in-depth 

~enjoy the freedom of a leisurely pace and still…

~come away with quite a bit of knowledge of the garden ecosystem


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Plant Life Cycle For Kids_ A Study In The Life Of A Plant A unit study on the plant lifecycle. Nature study in the garden


In our study of the life cycle of a plant, we will rely heavily on nature study techniques.

Components of Nature Study


Observation of your plant is key. Building powers of observation is the foundation of scientific thinking. Throughout these activities, the child will be called upon to observe. By observing the life of a plant, our students will begin to learn what, when, why, and how this plant lives and grows. We will see how the life of our plant contributes to the garden ecosystem as well as what factors are important to the life of our plant.


Drawing is a tool to enhance the powers of observation. Using drawing as part of our garden study enhances each aspect of the plant life cycle for our kids. 

I always tell my kids to “Draw what you see.” 

You don’t have to be a great artist. However, drawing what you see and drawing often will improve your artistic abilities. 

When drawing, you are forced to notice details your eye might be tempted to skim over otherwise.


By journaling every day your child will have records of when each event in the life of the plant happened. He might think he will remember, but he won’t. So we will have him write it down.

Journaling also improves observation as you will notice more details if you need to write something about it.

When we’re finished with this plant life cycle for kids study, your child will have a record of when things happened, as well as his perceptions of them.


Choosing A Plant To Study

Before you choose a plant to study, read through all of the activities in this Plant Life Cycle For Kids guide. Make sure your plant lends itself to them, or that you can adapt the activities to fit it. 

Something that will grow from seed, then produce fruit with seed the same season is a must to study the entire life of the plant. 

A plant that has a large-ish seed is preferable.


Plant Life Cycle For Kids_ A Study In The Life Of A Plant A unit study on the plant lifecycle. Nature study in the garden


Some plant suggestions for this garden study are:


Organizing Our Plant Life Cycle Learning

Create a space to store and organize all of our garden study findings and observations. 

A 3 ring binder with tabs works well, I like the 1″ size. 

Our family likes to use the kind with a clear plastic cover so that we can personalize and customize them to the project. Scrapbook paper and Stickers are great tools to customize your binders.

You’ll need tab dividers to organize the information and projects in your binder.



However, use whatever works for you. Your garden journal can be as simple as a spiral notebook reserved for this use! 

Keep it simple, or get as creative as your heart desires!

like this zippered, leather-bound gem… 



Further help organizing and recording your learning

I created a 50 + page Printable Pack to go with this study to make it super simple for you. You can access journaling pages, charts, and worksheets that go along with the activities in this study. All done for you. Print one a day and store them in a tabbed section of the binder.


Plant Life Cycle For Kids_ A Study In The Life Of A Plant A unit study on the plant lifecycle. Nature study in the garden free garden printable worksheet nature study pack


Plant Life Cycle For Kids Activities

Choose as many of these activities to study the life of your plant as suits your needs. . .

{This post has more general information and ideas on gardening with kids.}


Choose a plant to study

•Look up and record the scientific name. You can record this, as well as size, germination information, and other data and facts you will collect in your plant study in this Printable pack. Or you can just write it down on blank paper and file it in your binder. Make sure you take pictures to include.

Obtain seeds. If you have a gardening friend they are sure to give you a couple of seeds. You can also order them from many places on the internet. I  love this seed company because of its integrity. It’s a family operated small business and has a good selection. But the hugest factor is the amount of free training and resources they provide. You can check out their free planting calculator here.

•Plant the garden in which your plant is to live. If it will be a part of a larger garden, mark off a 9 sq foot space around your plant for observation purposes. This will give you plenty of room to walk, sit, draw, and observe the life of the plant itself, as well as taking in the garden ecosystem its a part of.

•Dig a 1 square foot hole where you are planning to plant your seed. Journal any observations as you look at the soil. You can put mulch, compost, and or aged manure in the bottom of your hole as well as cover it after re-filling. Revisit it periodically to see the effects of mulch and other additives on the soil; and consequently your plant. 

•Make and/or set up a trellis if your plant will need one

•Chart out the whole garden, if your plant is part of a larger garden.

>Measure out the physical garden, then create on graph paper a representation.  1 square=1 foot

•mark where your plant is as well as the other things planted.

•Alternatively, if your child is younger, you can use the grid on the backside of wrapping paper to make the visual layout. It’s bigger and you can even add pictures from catalogs.

•If your child is older you can use a free program to make a digital garden layout using this free tutorial.

•Put your chart in your notebook.

•Check your garden daily

•Journal and draw your observations


Plant Life Cycle For Kids_ A Study In The Life Of A Plant A unit study on the plant lifecycle. Nature study in the garden

Plant life cycle germination observation 

•Gather 10 seeds. Set one aside, and soak 9 in water overnight, or 6-10 hours. After the soaking period, place the seeds on a wet paper towel and store them in a container or jar, making sure to keep them damp.

•Draw your reserved seed.

•Dissect your seed and observe the inside.

•Repeat with a new seed each day. Once the seed sprouts, dissecting will not be necessary, just draw what you see.

Worksheets for this activity are included in this Printable Pack.


•Research what companion planting is.

•What are some good companions to your plant? What are some bad companions?

•Plant some good companions

You can get the worksheet in this printable pack, or feel free to have your child write it out on their own and put it in their binder.

Seedling growth chart

Once you see those first tiny leaves shooting up from the dirt, start a seedling growth chart.

Make the chart

•On a piece of graph paper, move to the right 5 squares, and up 5 squares.

•Draw a line from this point up 25 spaces. Label these “inches” and

•From your original point, draw another line horizontally 20 spaces. Label these “days” and 1-20

Record Your Data

Each day measure your seedling and plot its height out on the chart. Connect the dots.


Plant Life Cycle For Kids_ A Study In The Life Of A Plant A unit study on the plant lifecycle. Nature study in the garden



Plant Scrapbook pages

Take a picture of your plant each week and make a scrapbook style page for it. Include pictures of yourself, tools you use, recipes you’ve made, actual dishes it’s been included in, and anything else that’s been connected with your plant! Put all of these in a tabbed section of your binder.

Plant Growth Chart

You are going to make another chart, this time for your plant once it’s out of the seedling stage. It grows slower now, but you will be surprised at how much it’ll grow!

•On graph paper count up and over 4 spaces

•Draw a line up 24 spaces. Label every other one of these 1-12. So you will have 1 then a blank line, 2 then a blank line, etc. Label “Length in feet” (or height, depending on your plant)

•Draw a line horizontally from your original point of 20 spaces. Mark these 1-20 and label it  “weeks”

•Measure your plant each week and record its height or length.

Draw and Journal

Draw and journal regularly. Try to journal 5 days a week. It doesn’t have to be a long entry, just make it a habit to observe some details and record them. Try to draw every week. Include drawings of the leaves, the blossoms, parts of the flower, the fruit, the fruit at the end of a blossom. Try to draw a different aspect of the plant each week, including drawings of the fruit when its at all stages. Also get a drawing of the inside of the fruit, as well as its seeds.

Journal about growth. Observe how it responds to water, heat, what changes are there from early morning to evening -different times of the day. What insects are there around your plant, do you think they benefit your plant? Or are they harmful? Keep track of when you water your plant, give it mulch or fertilizer, when it’s first fruits appear, how fast they grow, and when you can harvest the fruit.

I have journal pages with drawing spaces you can Download for Free here


Plant Life Cycle For Kids_ A Study In The Life Of A Plant A unit study on the plant lifecycle. Nature study in the garden


Life cycle page

Create a page for your binder titled “Life cycle of {Name of your plant}”

Include drawings or pictures of your plant from seed to plant and fruit then back to seed.

Research your plant’s history

When did people start cultivating your plant? What was it’s first use?

Where did it originate? Put this in your binder:)

There is a worksheet in this printable pack for this, or your child can follow their own interests here.

Parts of a flower

Lookup parts of a flower and, using your blossoms, draw and label each part. There is a good little diagram with explanations Here

and there is a sheet dedicated to this activity in the printable pack to showcase your child’s work.



All About my plant

Research interesting aspects of your plant and make a page (or pages) for your binder!

Some questions to start with might be:


What parts do people eat?

What is the nutritional profile? Or what makes it good to eat, what vitamins or minerals is it rich in?

What’s its historical significance?

How is it important in different cultures around the world?

What is it’s culinary uses? Maybe find some recipes from different cultures.

Are all parts edible?

Try a new recipe and take pictures and write it down.

What ways are there to preserve it? Try one, or a few ways. Record your attempt.

There are pages for these activities in the printable pack as well as some blank pages for further research and exploration.

There you have it…


Everything You Need For A Complete Study In The Life Of A Plant For Kids

This summer is the perfect time for your child to spend some time outdoors getting an intimate knowledge of one plant. So order those seeds and get to planting. Print off your comprehensive printable pack and give your child a piece of earth for their own.


Pin this plant life cycle study for kids for later




  1. This is so good!! We’ve been so blessed by Ms. Mason’s philosophy of education. Thank you so much for linking to my blog and for sharing all these awesome information about Plant Cycle. We have learned so much doing nature studies and we’ve just added gardening to our homeschool. 🙂

    • I am so glad I found Ms Mason’s philosophy early on in our homeschool journey. We’ve been blessed tremendously because of using whole, real books …and nature study, too 💖

      Thank you for writing such a great article on her to share with people 🙂

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