It’s officially summer time! The temperatures are rising (wowza!), and the seeds are hopefully in the garden and growing up a storm. Kids can be such natural gardeners; I don’t know many kids who don’t love to play in the dirt (except those few who don’t like dirt on their hands). In fact, if I’m not careful, our littlest gardener will dig up whatever I’ve planted as soon as it shows a bit of green (a poor geranium bulb was his most recent victim). So why not get those eager hands to work planting seeds?
Planting seeds and watching them grow is an excellent way to show children the miracle that occurs in nature every day. Even if you’re not planting a garden, there are plenty of activities you can use to show your kids how plants grow. And these activities aren’t just for preschoolers and younger elementary kids; older kids who are interested in gardening can plan and grow their own garden, either in pots or in a small spot in the yard. We even know a local boy scout who grows a large patch of okra and sells it to a local grocery store… talk about an entrepreneur! Encourage the curiosity of your children when it comes to growing and tending plants; even if the plants don’t make it, there will be a lesson even in that!
So what are some ways you can encourage growing at your own house? Check out these fun activities for working with seeds. You can make them as simple or in-depth as you like!
- Water Bottle Planter
Now this activity teaches both recycling and how seeds grow! Win-win. Relaying the importance of reusing items, which is better than recycling even, is a great lesson for kids to learn. Find the instructions at Giggles Galore for how to create this planter, and the bonus is that you can make it as fancy as you like!
2. Grass Sponge House
Have a kid who doesn’t like to get dirty? This is the seed activity for them; no dirt needed! That may sound confusing, but fast growing grass seed can actually grow without dirt. This activity from Fab Art DIY uses kitchen sponges cut to form a house. The seed is sprinkled on the wet sponges once they’re assembled. Keep it moist and voila! A grass house… this could also be a great history lesson starting point to talk about sod houses. Just a thought!
3. Garden in a Glove
What’s better than watching seeds grow? Watching DIFFERENT types of seeds grow! You can compare how long it takes the different types of seeds to sprout and how differently they look when sprouting. There’s a big difference between a bean seed sprouting and a carrot seed; your kids will love comparing them! Check out the directions at Full Circle Gardener.
4. DIY Chia Pets
Doodle Craft has a great project that’s as simple as filling some panty hose or tights with dirt and grass seed and watching it grow! We actually tried this craft this week at Vacation Bible School, and it was such a hit with the kids. The bonus of adding googly eyes, feathers, and any other fun items you have on hand will give fun personality to your kids creations. This activity is a winner-winner… you know the rest.
Here’s a great activity for your older kids who are interested in not only seeing seeds sprout but also getting a bit of fruit from their labors. Bonzai Aphrodite has a great tutorial on creating these hanging water jug planters and again these involve both growing seeds and reusing household items. This could even turn into a tomato growing empire on your porch…or not.
Encourage your kids to get up and get growing. Life grows from seeds and what better way to show that miracle to your children than with any of these simple activities? I’d love to know if you have ever tried any of these! Keep on Growing and Happy Gardening!