Kids love playing in dirt. Mud pies, mud castles are a part of being a child. Use that basic love to get them interested in gardening. While in second grade my granddaughter came home with packets of vegetable and flower seeds she had won for her good behavior in class. I asked if she was excited about planting them. She said, “How do you plant seeds?” I thought what a great opportunity for her to create her own garden.
Creating a children’s garden can be a fun way to teach them about plant growth and plant care. I wanted it to be something she created herself. We made a list of the gardening supplies, i.e. potting soil, mini gardening tools, bags of drainage pebbles, plant food and a small watering can. She loves the ocean and decided to create a garden by the sea. We recycled a small children’s plastic swimming pool to use as the watering dish. Because it was already leaking from cracks in the bottom we didn’t need to create drainage holes. We layered the bottom of the pool with drainage pebbles. She used broken seashells for additional drainage material.
Next, we needed pots. She did not want to wait to purchase proper pots so we gathered all of her old beach toys; sand buckets, sand castle molds, brightly colored plastic summer tumblers, and a pair of old purple crocs she had out-grown. Most of these items have punch holes in the bottom. If they don’t remember to have an adult make a few small drainage holes. Fill the bottom of the items with a few drainage pebbles, potting soil, then plant your seeds. Place the pots in the pool [outside] in a sunny area and water daily. We created a fun children’s garden with flowers and vegetables rooted in things she loves.
Other items you can use to create unique gardens are recycled Play-Doh and yogurt containers, small plastic trash cans, paper mache bowls, milk jugs, child craft ceramics; anything that will hold soil and water. My personal favorite is a starter garden created from recycled paper towel and toilet paper tubes. My friend who happens to be a kindergarten teacher cut the tubes into 3 inch sections, fill them with potting soil and use them to plant Lima beans as a class science project. Once the root system develops the entire tube can be planted directly into the ground. She also got her son interested in gardening by creating a sports theme garden by cutting his old basket balls, soccer balls in half. She used one of his old toy football helmets as a mini planter.
Using items that your children no longer play with or things they have out-grown can be an easy and cheap way to get children excited about taking care of their own garden. It’s also a Eco-friendly way to recycle. And all it takes is a little gardening imagination!
A Childrens Guide to Fun and Clever Gardening
My Personal Gardening