Seed Songs, Stories, & Fingerplays for Pre-K and Kindergarten
Are you looking for some new seed songs to try out with your pre-k and kindergarten students? If so, you're in luck! In this post, I share some of my favorite seed songs, stories, and fingerplays. Plus, I provide tips for using this musical material in your classroom.
Let's grow...I mean, go!
A Little Seed Poem
Oh, the magic and mystery of one tiny seed! This is one of my favorite fingerplays to do with children. Its beautiful text and melody captivate children immediately!
The poem was written by Mabel Watts and set to music by Mary Lou Siegel. I first learned it at a workshop presented by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon.
A little seed for me to sow,
A ;little soil to help it grow,
A little sun, a little shower,
A little wait...and then a flower!
Click on the post to see how we explore the song two different ways - fingerplay only or with a scarf.
Both ways are calming and offer a tangible experience for students to explore growing a seed in an artful way.
Plant the Tiny Seed written by Christie Matheson
In this interactive story, your students will push the seed into the ground, wiggle their fingers to water the seeds, and clap to make the sun shine after the rain.
See tiny seeds bloom into beautiful flowers in a garden full of bees, hummingbirds, ladybugs, and butterflies. So many fun connections to garden, plant, and insect themes...can you buzz like a bee, crawl like a ladybug, flutter like a butterfly, or hum like a hummingbird?
Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
Based on a true story, Harlem Grown is a great example of how having a seed of an idea can transform a community. It tells the story of a man, named Tony Hillery, who was volunteering at a school in the neighborhood of Harlem, New York. He saw an opportunity to make a difference when he noticed a vacant lot across the street from the school.
One of the students, named Nevaeh, asked, "Mr. Tony, why don't we plant something?" That simple question planted a seed for Hillery to get students involved in cleaning up the vacant lot and eventually turning it into a beautiful and functional farm. Years later, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, children and their parents/caregivers, continue to grow fruits and vegetables and all of the food is given back to the community.
Hillery says, "the garden is our foundation...we're planting seeds in the ground, but more importantly, we're planting seeds in their heads." Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization and proceeds from the sale of the book go directly to Harlem Grown. Such an inspiring story that still lives on today!
Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres
In the beautifully illustrated picture book, this little garden is literally on the move!
"In the dirt we'll dig a row,
drop some seeds,
and watch them grow.
Dirt piles up; seeds go down.
Water splashes around and around!"
Click on the post to see how "Up, Down, and Around" inspires opportunities for vocal, instrumental, AND movement exploration!
The Farmer Plants the Seeds by The Kiboomers
Sing, learn, and grow with this song by The Kiboomers. Sung to the tune, "The Farmer in the Dell.," it follows the sequence of a seed growing from start to finish. I like to sing it accompanied or with guitar accompaniment. What a great farm to table connection!
The farmer plants the seeds...
(Pretend to plant seeds, pat ground.)
The sun comes out to shine...
(Make a large circle with arms above head.)
The rain begins begin to fall...
(Reach up and make fingers flutter down to the ground.)
The seeds begin to grow...
(Stand up slowly and reach arms up to the sky.)
The vegetables are here...
(Have the children suggest movement.)
The farmer digs them up...
(Pretend to dig with hands or shovel.)
Now, it's time to eat...
(Pretend to eat vegetables.)
One Seed by The Laurie Berkner Band
This sweet song teaches children to take care of our planet, one seed at a time. The chorus can be sung as an echo and suggested actions are modeled beautifully in the video. Perfect for Earth Day or as a connection to a seed story!
One seed (one seed), two hands (two hands)
Dig a hole (dig a hole), start to plant (start to plant)
Watch it grow (watch it grow), pass it down (pass it down)
One Earth (one Earth), spins around (spins around).
The Garden Song, written and sung by David Mallet
This song, also known as "Inch by Inch," has been sung and recorded by many performing artists since it was written in 1975. I've sung it with my students every year. They love singing the chorus and ask for it again and again. This song also works well at music sharings and informances where parents and caregivers can enjoy singing along.
Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow,
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow,
Someone warm them from below 'til the rain comes tumbling down.
Here are some other versions that I recommend:
Sung by John Denver
Sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary
Sung by David Grover and the Big Bear Band
Seeds by Gemini
I love singing this song at the end of class, as a sing-along, or joined with a parent and caregiver community. "Seeds" is a beautiful metaphor for planting seeds on the inside and watching those qualities grow on the outside. Suggested lyrics are listed below. What other qualities could we plant?
I will plant seeds of joy in my heart each day,
Water them, care for them, watch them grow, in my heart each day.
In my heart, seeds of joy, growing every day.
I will plant seeds of peace...
I will plant seeds of love...
I hope you’ve found helpful ideas for using seed songs, stories, and fingerplays in your classroom. If you’re looking for more inspiration, or want to know more about incorporating this musical material into your curriculum, I'd love to help! Sign up for the Pop Up for Play Newsletter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What song, story, or fingerplay will you use with your students? I can't wait to hear about it!
Have a great week!
Amidon, M.A. & Davis, A (Eds.). (2012). I'm Growing Up: Fingerplays, Action Songs, Singing Games and Stories for Young Children. Brattleboro, VT: New England Dance Masters.
Ayres, K. (2008). Up, Down, and Around (N. Bernard Westcott, Illus.). Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
Harlem Grown. (2016, December 7). Harlem Grown [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iwEASoxi70&t=2shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iwEASoxi70&t=2s
Hillery, T. (2020). Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood (J. Hartland, Illus.). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Matheson, C. (2017). Plant the Tiny Seed. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
PBS. (2022, April 30). Lidia Celebrates America: Overcoming the Odds. PBS Food.