Gardening is a fascinating and joyous activity for all ages. You can play, work, and learn with each other through this experience. Allowing a child to grow their own garden (even a small container garden) is a great way to help children understand what their ancestors did for food before grocery stores. Requiring the child to assist with the weeding and watering teaches him or her responsibility.
The first thing you should do before you begin your garden is discuss the four elements plants need to grow: soil, seeds, sun and water.
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After working on some of these fun gardening projects, I bet you won’t even have to sneak veggies into your picky child’s dinners anymore! Your kids will be antsy with excitement to gobble up their hard work.
- Nylon socks
- Grass seed
- Potting soil
- Small plastic containers
- rubber bands
- Googly eyes
- Pipe cleaners
1. Place 1 tbsp. grass seed into the nylon sock.
2. Place enough soil on top of seed to create a ball the size of a softball.
3. Close the open end of the nylon with a rubber band and cut off all but 2 inches of the excess dangling nylon.
4. Attach eyes and decorate face with pipe cleaners or markers.
5. Place grass head on top of container (have excess 2 inch nylon dangling into the container.)
6. Pour in 1/2 inch of water in bottom of the container every couple of days.
7. Spray water gently over grass seeds on top 2 times each day.
8. The grass will grow up like hair!!!
How to Grow a Pizza Garden
What kid doesn’t love pizza? Section off a small portion of your yard and plant your favorite pizza topics, such as – tomatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, chives, eggplant, green onions, bell peppers, spinach, oregano, basil, thyme, and sage. Imagine how yummy this ENTIRELY homemade pizza will taste! Your children will take much pride in their hard work when they taste their creation.
Did you know…that the first pizzas were nothing like the pizzas we make today? The first pizzas were simple circles of herbed and oiled flat bread. Spanish explorers introduced tomatoes to the Italians chefs, one of which created a tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil pizza (the 3 colors of the Italian flag) to honor his queen.
(You can also create a Salad Garden by planting lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cauliflowers, and herbs to make salad dressing.)
- A bag of white beans
- Paper towels
- One zip lock bag
1. Wet one paper towel and out it in the baggie, along with 5-10 beans.
2. Zip up the bag but make sure to leave air in.
3. Hang the bag in your windows and watch the beans grow.
4. Later you can transplant the beans to pots.
Grow Your Name
Get a long box and fill it with potting soil. Trace names or initials in the soil. Place grass seeds in the trench and lightly covered them with soil. In a few days you will be delighted to see your names sprouting!
You can fascinate kids by potting plants or herbs into a clear container. This allows them to see how the roots sprout down into the soil and the plant sprouts up into the sunlight. Here are some excellent instructions from How Stuff Works to build your own Root View Box.
Compost improves the condition of and adds valuable nutrients to soil. Simply obtain a bin made from plastic or wood. All you need to do is add the right ingredients and nature will do the rest. You can throw in any of the following: leaves, straw, grass clippings, paper towels, lettuce, tea bags, coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, egg shells…the list goes on and on. Any material that was once living can be thrown into your compost bin. However, do NOT throw in any meat or dairy products. It is best to maintain a balance between nitrogen rich items (i.e. grass or lettuce) and carbon rich items (i.e. cardboard or paper.) Your plants will thank you for the added nutrients.
Helpful website to explain composting to young kids:
Edible Bean Teepee
A bean tee pee is very easy to make and best of all, is a shady and delightful playhouse. Acquire 6-8 twelve-foot long wooden stakes or bamboo poles. Arrange them in teepee style in a 5-foot circle, pushing the ends into the ground. Be sure to leave enough room for a small entrance. Tie the tops of the teepee together with heavy twine. Plant pole or string beans seeds around the base of the teepee. In a couple of months, the teepee will be covered with beans, leaves, and vines!
A house made of sunflowers is another enchanting playhouse. Mark off an 8’ x 8’ area of your yard and dig a shallow trench around this squared off area. Drop in various types of sunflower seeds (you can buy them in various heights.) Be sure to refill the trench with a mixture of soil and compost. Sunflowers grow very quickly so within a couple months you will have a secret hideaway.