Most of us aren’t used to spending this much time at home, least of all our kids! But after a while, the novelty of being home from school and extra screen time starts to wear off. Most of the parents we’ve talked to have been doing an amazing job looking for ways to make this experience enriching. Luckily, the garden is one of the best classrooms there is. These five garden craft ideas are engaging, educational, and tons of fun—you might even want to try them yourself!
Terracotta Pot Paintings
Kids love to personalize things, and terracotta pots are just the right material for showing off some artwork. Start with some terracotta pots of assorted sizes, some paint brushes, acrylic paints, a glass of water and line the work surface with newspaper. Encourage your child to paint the pots however they like, or paint together and make an afternoon of it. Once you’ve let your creations dry, you can fill them with soil and flowers from our garden centre. Arrange the pots together in the garden for a heartwarming display!
Part craft, part science experiment, seed starting is an awesome way to introduce school-age kids to gardening. Best of all, this craft will keep their attention for weeks, not just a couple of hours! Start with a few packets of seeds, a tray of seed starter cells with peat pellets, some stick-on labels, and a simple grow light. Get kids to organize their seeds by row and label the rows on the front of the tray to remind themselves where everything is planted. Next, instruct them to read the seed packets for planting information and the instructions on the seed starter tray to learn how to plant and monitor the seedlings. Show them how to set the timer on the grow light so their seedlings get enough light. This is a great exercise for developing reading comprehension and learning how things grow, and they’ll end up with a mini garden that they can later plant outside!
Younger kids may find seed starting a little tricky, but you can get them going on this fun gardening craft inspired by Jack and the Beanstalk! All you need is a dry bean, two sheets of paper towel, and a locking sandwich bag. Ask them to wet the paper towel in the sink and squeeze out some of the excess water. Then, put the paper towel in the sandwich bag, keeping it as flat as possible. Finally, ask them to put the bean in the sandwich bag on top of the paper towel and seal it up. Now, use a few pieces of tape to tape the bag to a sunny window. Here’s where the magic happens; after a few days, the bean will start to sprout! Get your little gardener to check on the bag every day and watch as it turns into a real plant. Later on, you can help them transplant the plant into the garden and add a structure for the plant to climb. Little kids won’t believe how big the plant from one little bean can grow!
Mini Veggie Farm
This craft can adapt to a small or large outdoor space. If you have a lawn, drill or cut some drainage holes in the bottom of an old kiddie pool. Or, designate a small garden bed to create a plot of soil just for your little “farmer.” If you have an apartment with a sunny balcony, pick up some medium-to-large containers instead. Grab some bags of soil and some packets of easy-to-grow veggie seeds and put your farmer to work filling up the kiddie pool or containers. Then, lend them a watering can and let them get planting! If your child already completed the Seed Starting craft, help them transplant their seedlings into the garden plot. Otherwise, try these veggies that are super simple to grow from seed:
- Cherry tomatoes (Best for containers!)
- Herbs, like Cilantro, Basil, or Oregano
- Pumpkin (Best for garden plots)
Craft kids will love creating a customized terrarium for succulents or air plants! Start with a glass or plastic terrarium, and have them fill the bottom with a cactus-friendly soil blend. (The soil choice is important for keeping succulents alive) Let them add any decorations they can get their hands on; plastic dinosaur figurines, polished rocks, even small rhinestones and fake gold nuggets. Younger kids may do best with air plants, which they can simply throw into the terrarium. Kids with a bit more dexterity can try their hand at gently transplanting succulents, backfilling with a little extra soil. Keep the terrarium in a sunny spot! Air plants should be soaked every few days and allowed to dry on a towel before returning to the terrarium. For succulent terrariums, add a little water directly to the soil after transplanting, and always avoid getting water directly on the plant.
With lots to do in the house and the yard, your child will soon learn that there’s more to explore at home than they expected! Start today—give us a call at our garden centre to arrange curbside pickup for your supplies.