Gardening is a great way to teach kids responsibility, patience, and hard work, as well as getting them out into the fresh air and sunshine.
It’s not always easy to get your kids involved in gardening (pulling weeds isn’t exactly exciting). That’s why today we’ve put together a list of five garden related projects that are sure to get your kids excited about being outside and making things grow.
Let’s get crafting!
1. DIY “Chia” Pet
First on our list is a DIY chia pet. You’ll probably remember those hokey ads for chia pets from back in the day, but you don’t have to send in money to some random company to give your kids the fun experience of watching something grow. You can make one of your own with things you probably already have around the house.
- 2 liter soda bottle
- Potting soil
- Seeds (chia, wheat grass, or really anything that won’t get too huge)
- Googly eyes
- Hot glue
- Paint or marker (optional, but helps make the “nose” more colorful)
To start, cut the bottle in half (best done by an adult). Then, have you kids decorate the bottle cap with paint or markers. This will form the pet’s “nose.”
Once that’s done, glue both the nose and the eyes to the bottom half of the bottle. This forms the “head” of your pet.
Fill the head almost to the top with potting soil, sprinkle the seeds on top, and then cover with more soil. Water well and wait a few days for the seeds to germinate. As the seeds begin to grow, they’ll form wacky “hair” for the pet.
Original instructions here: http://www.frugalfamilyhome.com/home/diy/diy-chia-pet
2. DIY Milk Jug Watering Can
Here’s a way to get your kids to help out in the garden while also having fun and reusing an item you almost certainly have around the house.
- Plastic milk jug
- Supplies for decoration (optional but helpful for involving the kids)
This is one that requires a bit of adult work upfront, since it involves sharp objects and fire. But what kid isn’t interested in a project when fire’s involved? All you do is heat the needle and use it to poke a few holes in the lid of the jug. Fill it with water and, boom, instant watering can.
You can even make it lighter by using a smaller milk jug (helpful for little ones for whom a gallon of water is a bit too much to carry).
And of course, feel free to let your kids decorate their watering can with stickers, markers, or basically anything that can take a bit of wear and tear.
Original instructions here: http://onecreativemommy.com/diy-watering-can/
3. DIY Compost “Can”
There are dozens of DIY compost bin plans on the Internet, but a lot of them are rather…involved. If you don’t have a home wood shop but still want to get started composting (and give your kids a fun way to stay active), try this.
- Plastic garbage can with lid
- Power drill
- 2 Bungee cords
- Kids who like getting dirty
All you do is drill a few evenly spaced holes in the sides and lid of the can. This allows air to flow through the compost. Then fill it with compostable materials and secure the lid with bungee cords.
Where your kids get involved is adding materials to the bin and, most fun of all, rolling it around the yard to “turn” to compost. This ends up being cheaper and more fun than a regular compost bin that you’d buy at the store.
Original instructions here: http://thehappyhousewife.com/frugal-living/diy-compost-bin/#_a5y_p=1339283
4. DIY Garden Markers
This is a fun way to let your kids be creative while also adding something useful to your garden. This project is quite simple and has lots of room for variation.
- Smooth, medium-sized rocks
- Paint (go with gouache or tempera for a non-toxic option)
- Outdoor varnish (to keep the paint from chipping and washing off with the rain)
All you have to do is make sure your rocks are clean and then let your kids paint away. Use solid colors that correspond to whatever you’re growing, and then paint them to look like vegetables/fruits. Your kids can add as little or as much detail as they like.
When you’re done painting, apply 2-3 coats of varnish and let dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated area before adding to your garden.
Original instructions here: http://www.adventure-in-a-box.com/how-to-make-garden-markers-by-painting-stones-art-tuesday/
5. Worm Farm
If you don’t have the space for a compost bin, a worm farm is a fun alternative, as well as a great way to let your kids play with creepy crawly creatures.
- Plastic bucket with a lid
- Newspaper (black and white works best)
- Gardening soil
- Spray bottle
- Food scraps/other compostable material
Start by poking a few holes in the lid of the bucket to allow some air to circulate. Then have your kids fill the bucket with newspaper and spray it with water to get the decomposition process started. Top it off with some garden soil.
Next comes the fun part: finding your worms. Red worms are best for creating nutrient rich soil, though earthworms will work as well. Have your kids search damp, dark spots around your yard to find the worms. You may need to do a little digging. Once you’ve found them, add them to your bucket.
Have your kids add scraps to the bucket daily and turn the top of the pile about once a week to keep the soil loose and oxygenated. When the bucket gets filled, add them to your garden bed before planting!
Original instructions here: http://afewshortcuts.com/2015/03/how-to-create-a-worm-farm-with-kids/#_a5y_p=3489696
We hope this post has given you some ideas for getting your kids involved in gardening. Don’t forget that if you have any gardening questions, you can contact us or stop by the nursery to ask one of our knowledgeable staff.
How do you get your kids involved in gardening? Share your tips in the comments section below.