Saturday, May 8, 2010

Garden Project with Kids

If you're looking for a cheap and fun activity to engage kids in the garden, consider this nifty seed planting project. It can be fun for adults too!

- 1 egg carton
- 1 small plastic garden pot to hold soil
- 1 even smaller plastic garden pot for scooping
- 3-4 cups of potting soil
- 2-4 packets of seeds
- scissors

Step 1: Prep by cutting the egg carton in half. Each kid will get 6 little planters. Fill the larger garden pot with soil and set the scoop inside the bin.  Find a good location at a kids height to plant.
Step 2: Have your 3yr old scoop soil into the the egg carton
Step 3: Lay out the selection of seeds and let them pick what they would like to plant
Step 4: Have them hold out one hand so you can pour some seeds in. It's ok to give them extra seeds, u can always thin the plants later.  Odds are good some will end up on the ground anyway.
Step 5: make a small indentation in the center of each egg slot and ask them to pinch a few seeds into the indent.  Have them sprinkle seeds in each of the 6 spaces.
Step 6: Get their help to put any extra seeds back in the seed packet.
Step 7: Next, they scoop a little more soil and pour it over the little holes in each to cover the seeds. I get them to clean up the excess that likely ended up on the table or steps when the first put soil in to cover the seeds. This way they can only grab small amounts and the seeds aren't covered too heavily.
Step 8: Help them water the seeds
Step 9: Enlist their help to clean up.
Step 10: If you can, point to a plant in your garden or a book to show them what their seeds will turn into.

We enjoyed eating our lettuce directly from the garden and then planting the seeds.

Tip: use the top of the egg carton as a tray for the newly planted seeds, it makes it easy to carry the egg crate for the kids.

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