Hands-on Activities for Kids

a colorful child's drawing of a butterfly and other bugs

Discover Trees

Build a Tree Poem
Nature has been the subject of creative writing for centuries. During this activity, students will use figurative language and literary devices to create a poem inspired by nature.

Coloring Postcards: Color the Canopy Cathedral Treehouse
Share your love of Longwood with these printable coloring postcards created by our very own Longwood Fellow Becky Paxton.

Conifers & Pinecones
Discover some fun facts about conifers! Practice recognizing some conifers in your own neighborhood and get creative with some natural materials.

Measure Me a Tree
Longwood arborists take excellent care of the trees at Longwood Gardens. Understanding the size of trees is an important part of their job. While investigating their own backyard, students will determine the height, circumference, and crown size of a large tree.

Terrific Trees
Discover the names of five common trees in your neighborhood. Learn how to identify these trees using their characteristics. Collect sticks during your journey to create a piece of art.

Tree Ecology at Home
Throughout a tree’s life, it collects nutrients from the environment and uses them to grow. For this activity, students will visit a tree in their backyard and explore the unique ecosystem surrounding it.

Tree Symmetry Journal
In this fun activity for kids from APGA’s Plant Heroes program, learn what symmetry is, find examples in nature (think leaves and butterflies), and discover some fun facts about three iconic North American trees you may find in your own backyard.

Learn About Plants

All About Vines
Discover new facts about cucumber and pumpkin vines, experiment with growing your own pumpkin, and get creative with paper quilling.

Celebrate Black History
Acquaint yourself with the ingenuity of one African American man, George Washington Carver, who changed the way farmers grew crops and invented new ways to use the common peanut, soybean, and sweet potato. He was a teacher, an artist, an inventor, a scientist, and a botanist!

Curious Case of the Missing Carnivorous Plant
One of Longwood’s carnivorous plants has gone missing! Who did it? How did they do it? We need your help in this curious case of the missing plant!

Flowering Annuals
Discover how to recognize some common annuals and learn about the life cycle of flowering plants. Create an experiment with bean seeds to grow your own plant.

Flowering Perennials
Discover how to recognize common perennials and learn about the parts of a perfect flower. Discover how the reproductive parts of a flower contribute to the survival of the plant.

Memory Matching Game
Test your memory and learn some new flower names in this matching game for the whole family.

Plant Maze
Try this fun experiment to make your own plant maze. 

Coloring Postcards: Color the Waterlilies
Inspired by the enchantment of the Gardens, these souvenir postcards are designed for kids of all ages and are a great way to share Longwood with family and friends.

Pressed Plants Activity
Learn how to press flowers to create handmade greeting cards.

What Do Plants Like to Drink?
Have you ever wondered what might happen if you watered a plant with salt water? Or soda? Put on your lab coat as you experiment with plants by watering them with different liquids.

Explore Nature

Design a Bird Nest
Gather some materials to help birds build their nests, then try your hand at building one.

Nature Journal
Take time to observe the colors, sounds, textures, and movement of nature.

Nature Quest
Gather your family and head outside to discover some of the natural wonders around you. 

Statues of Longwood
Longwood Gardens has fun animal statues scattered throughout the Gardens. Learn a little bit about our favorites, then follow the activities to create your own garden sculpture and piece together jigsaw puzzles.

Topiary Shrubs
Search for shrubs growing in your own backyard and learn how to create a topiary of your own.

Birdseed Ornaments
Create your own wildlife tree outside by making birdseed ornaments. How many different types of birds will your ornaments attract?

Camera Obscura
Get a new perspective on the world around you. Take this camera out into nature to see something in a new way!

Holiday Wrapping Paper
Have fun creating your own wrapping paper to cover your holiday gifts this year. Use vegetables from your kitchen, fallen leaves, twigs, or shells to stamp plain paper, turning it into one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

Coloring Pages
Get coloring with artist Natalya Zahn, who created more than 50 pieces of art found in our Meadow Garden.

Family Plant Hunt
Go on this fun hunt to find objects made from plants all around your house.

Pollinator Math at Home
Pollinators are responsible for assisting over 80% of the world's flowering plants to reproduce. Without them, humans and wildlife wouldn't have much to eat or look at! In this activity, students will discover different types of pollinators while using math skills to calculate and problem solve.

Bird Seed Investigation
Just like people, different birds have different food preferences. In this fun activity, kids conduct an experiment to find out what kinds of seeds different species of birds prefer.

Get Gardening! 

Create Your Own Miniature Garden
Inspire your imagination and find joy in creating an enchanting miniature garden.

Kitchen Farming
Your kitchen is a great place to start growing your own vegetables!

Make Your Own Grass Head
Plant some grass seed and use the recording sheet to log your daily observations. How long will it take before you must give your grass head a haircut?

Hydroponics & Plant Careers
Discover what it takes to have a career working with plants and create your own self-watering plant container.