Easy garden projects for you and a child
Interesting children in the joys of gardening can be fun. They’re eager to learn and amazed by seeds sprouting and flowers blooming.
We have a passel of kids and even grandkiddies to have fun with, and these are some of the things we’ve tried. This is a love letter to my children who have children and step-children of their own.
Here are some fun projects to do with kids in the garden:
Weave a daisy chain
Watch seeds sprout
Buy some bean seeds and sprout them in a wet folded paper towel. Lay the towel on a plate and keep it wet. check for roots each day with your child. Measure them with a small ruler. This is a nice indoor project.
Grow a sweet potato plant.
Here’s another indoor project. Take a sweet potato and stick three toothpicks in the sides around the middle. Set it in a glass jar with water filled to the middle of the potato. Then just watch. It will grow both roots and leaf sprouts. And it only takes a week or so to see results.
Grow sweet peas
Here is a New Year’s Day tradition for our family. Soak some sweet pea seeds by folding them in a wet paper towel set in a dish overnight. Find a spot in the garden that will get good sun next to a fence or trellis. Plant the seeds a half inch down and cover with soil. Tamp down. Water and watch seeds grow and flowers bloom. These can actually be planted anytime especially in cool months.
Plant a child sized garden
With your child, mark out a plot about 4 feet square in a sunny spot and build a trellis fence on two sides. Mix up a bag of concrete together to make a small pond or birdbath. You can just shape it with your gloved hands. Go to the nursery and let your child pick out some blooming flowers. Plant seeds like sugar snap peas and zinnias, radishes and marigolds. Hang a bird feeder nearby and you have your own little wildlife habitat. Make a sign with your child, saying ‘My Garden’ or with their name.
Plant an herb garden
Hammer together three squares made of two x fours. Stack them up to make an herb garden tower. Lay down a thick layer of newspaper on the spot where the garden will be in a sunny spot. Arrange the squares in a pattern, making triangular spaces for the plants and fill them with soil. Plant a different herb in each one like thyme, rosemary, chives, onions, parsley and sage, then when they grow use them for cooking lessons!
Set a sundial in the middle.
Create a wildlife habitat
Provide water, bird seed feeders, and a small pile of brush for birds to hide in. Plant flowers like butterfly bush and sages and lavender to attract birds and bees. Arrange these a certain distance away from a cozy comfortable spot where you can sit with your child and watch the creatures come and go. It will become a tradition to come here and talk. Bring out cups of tea on a cold day.
Growing a mold garden
Here is a good project for a rainy week and if your child if they like gross yucky amazing things. Cut a piece of bread in quarters. Sprinkle the pieces with some water droplets. Give each piece to a child and have them wave them in the air to make contact with mold spores. Seal each piece loosely in foil and put in the back of a drawer or container out in the garage. Don’t peek for 1 week! After a week, open the foil packets. See what you see. More info here. Eeyeeww! Fun!
A word about the photos: These photos are from my former garden in the suburbs of Orange County, California, when I was raising my three children and conducting Brownie meetings where we planted sweet peas and grew mold. The photos are old but hopefully show what fun we had!