Fun Kid Activities: Planting your Garden
by Ms. Joy
The weather lately has been less rainy than it has been impossibly cold. It is the cold that keeps children tucked inside and driving their parents wild scrambling for just one more activity, treat and book. It is exhausting but also exhilarating to come up with a whirlwind of activities to keep your children entertained until they fall into a heap of adorable in their beds at an acceptable hour. To keep yourselves from twiddling your thumbs and staring at each other on one of those impossibly cold or wet days, you should try to start a garden.
Planting seeds is a great activity for children, even those as young as three like Bubs; the key to transforming an activity for a younger child is really dependant on your level of preparation. Bubs is a very helpful little boy but some of the preparation for this project can be tedious and demands a delicate hand. While he was off chasing the cats and rooting through his sister’s craft supplies I divided the seeds into small containers, filled a bowl with water and prepared the paper towels. It was an afterthought to store the seeds in 125 mL jam jars but plastic baggies would work just as well. To keep the dry seeds safe and separated I used soy sauce dishes from our sushi set.
I have been planting a small balcony garden with the kids since there was only one kid and while we do not have a huge yield it is such a great learning experience for them to grow something that wholly is their own (with a bit of help). They are delighted by the tender first shoots of leaves and if you are so lucky as to have peas or tomatoes properly grow, the pride in their eyes will make the whole thing worth it.
You will Need:
• plastic baggies or small jam jars
• paper towels
• bowl of water
• seeds, separated and organized
• markers and sticker labels – the labels aren’t necessary if you’re using baggies
- Fold a paper towel twice (in half one way, turn, then once again fold) and dip into the bowl of water to saturate it. Seeds love themselves some water to germinate.
- Place 3 to 4 seeds into the wet paper towel and fold in half. This doesn’t have to be exact. Bubs was in charge of this step and we germinated approximately 20 arugula seeds in one paper towel.
- Store in the plastic baggy or jar. Be sure to label it so you can provide the best living conditions for your little plants once it has sprouted!
- Check on your seeds in 2-3 days. A small white tail should have appeared, if not give it another day.
You will need to transplant your seeds into small clay containers so that they do not mould in the paper towel. You could always use those disposable dixie cups but if you want to keep your fledgling garden sustainable, use the clay pots. Plant the germinated seed as far down into the soil as you would if you had not pre-germinated in the paper towel.
This is an activity you can actually do every two weeks so that you have waves of produce and flowers throughout the summer! If you are looking for perfect flowers for a future gardening competition, perhaps save those seeds for a time when the kids are otherwise entertained. We like to grow vegetables and edible flowers in our garden.