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A garden is a miracle, and this wonder is not lost on children. Lois Ehlert’s book, Growing Vegetable Soup, provides rich text and beautiful illustrations to beckon you and your student into the wonderful world of gardening. Grab our free Growing Vegetable Soup activities and printables to enrich your reading of the story. This unit is crammed full of fun learning opportunities.

Thanks to Tammy Maddox for creating this Growing Vegetable Soup unit study for Homeschool Share.

Growing Vegetable Soup Activities

Here are a few sample lessons from the Growing Vegetable Soup unit study:


Memory Verse
For memory work this week, you could use Genesis 1:29 (which talks about seeds and plants) or you could focus on another verse about helping others or showing kindness.

Literacy Activities

Grow Your Name
Using a fast growing seed such as radish or grass, have your child use a pencil to write either his name or initial in a small plot of ground. Fill it in with the seeds, then cover lightly with soil and keep moist. How special for your child to see her initial or name growing.

Alphabet Soup
Practice letter recognition. Use individual letters such as blocks, magnets, or tiles, a cooking pot and a large stirring spoon. Have your child put the letters in the pot, stir and scoop one out. Teach or review letter names and sounds. If you are using colored letters, you can also practice color recognition.

Drama/Pretend Play
After reading this story, have your child act out planting a garden or making vegetable soup. Be sure to use props. Bucket and tools, gloves, seed packets, even larger seeds such as beans or peas are great planting props. You could use pots, mixing spoons, an apron and plastic vegetables so your student can cook some vegetable soup after the “garden” has grown!

You could also use these free Garden Shop Pretend Play Printables.


Growing Vegetable Soup provides many counting opportunities. Have your child count the garden tools at the beginning of the book (3), and the seeds on the next page. (Note: there are 10 seeds total, and five of them are carrot seeds). You can count the vegetable labels on the page with the watering can (11), etc.


How Plants Drink
All plants use their roots to drink water. Demonstrate this by using a piece of celery or Queen Anne’s Lace (usually found growing wild on the roadside), or a white carnation from your local florist. Place in a clear bottle or jar, fill with water and add a several drops of food coloring. Within a few hours your plant will begin changing colors from the bottom up. Explain that this is because the plant drinks through the roots at the bottom and pulls it up into the plant.

Bean Sprout Activity
Materials: clear jar, yogurt container, paper towel and bean seeds. Wrap strips of paper towel around the yogurt container so that when placed upside down in the jar the paper will touch the sides. Push the bean seeds between the jar and the paper so that they will stay without falling. Wet the paper and place the jar in a sunny location. Be sure to keep that paper moist. Watch as the beans swell, split, and sprout both down (roots) and up (shoots). You can take pictures each day for a two-week period of the bean starting as soon as it shoots through the ground. It is truly amazing to record this process and to go back and look through your photos.


Garden Apron
Materials: apron (either for cooking or for carrying tools) and fabric paint Create your own garden apron to use while planting and tending your garden. Let your child paint pictures and letters on the apron or help her “paint” her hand with the fabric paint then press a handprint onto the apron.

Seed Mosaic
Materials: cardstock, glue and a large assortment of seeds. Unleash your child’s imagination go as she creates pictures and artwork out of seeds.

This Growing Vegetable Soup unit study includes oodles of hands-on learning fun. To access all of the lessons in this unit study, grab your free copy at the end of this post.

Growing Vegetable Soup Lapbook Printables

This Growing Vegetable Soup unit also includes these free printable activities for your student to create a lapbook.

The printables are in two versions: full color and black and white.

  • Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow Layer Book
  • Vegetable Soup Recipe Card & Pocket
  • Vegetable Soup Bowl
  • Fives Senses in the Garden Flap Book
  • The Garden Grows Tri-fold Book (sequencing)
  • God Gave Us Plants Simple Fold Book
  • My Garden Journal Shape Book
  • Seed Graph
  • Garden Words Mini-book
  • “Dig a Little” Poem Book

Growing Vegetable Soup Lapbook Example

You can use the printables to create a lapbook. If you are new to lapbooking, check out our How to Make a Lapbook Guide.

This sample lapbook was made with one file folder.

How to Get Started with the Growing Vegetable Soup Activities and Printables

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Growing Vegetable Soup unit study and printables:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Growing Vegetable Soup, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the lessons, activities, and printables. Remember, the printables come in two versions: full color and black and white. Simply pick the pages you want as you print.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the Growing Vegetable Soup activities and printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of garden learning with your student.

Download Your Growing Vegetable Soup Free Printables and Activities

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More Garden Themed Resources

If you are looking for more garden activities and printables try our Garden Theme for Preschool and Kindergarten page.

You can also check out these:

The Carrot Seed Lapbook
Muncha, Muncha, Muncha Lapbook
Vegetable Pattern Activity Pages