Ashley and I love re-vamping our backyard garden every spring. As our kids grow and develop new habits and interests, it’s a great way to engage them and challenge ourselves to create something the kids will also learn from and enjoy. Here are 10 great ideas for family garden projects:
1. Use math & counting practice with your garden
Count out 5 seeds to plant… How many bags of dirt do we need? If you are sure to ask pertinent counting or arithmetic questions as you build, your children will learn while having fun. It’s great.
2. Use container gardening (especially if you have a smaller backyard)
Plastic containers/pots aren’t that expensive and allow you to really utilize space. This also gives you the flexibility to move the plants around if you change your mind or find that little hands are destroying the plants in a certain spot.
3. Make garden gifts for friends and family
Those terra-cotta pots are super cheap and basic – perfect as a template for the kids to paint and decorate. Let them pick someone who could use a flower in their life and paint it for them. When done, the can pick seeds or flowers to put in the pot for their selected person. This one’s a good rainy-day activity but also good outside because that means no clean up!
4. Yes – a fairy garden
I’m sorry, but the kids love these. You can be a traditionalist and BUY a bunch of fairy garden stuff (always neat) but I’ve also seen more and more people creating their own fairy gardens out of old jars, containers, or dollar store items. I like this because it’s more interactive and I almost always choose activities that express the kids’ creativity.
5. Another rainy day idea – making a mushroom garden
Ashley and I hate mushrooms, so you may never see this in our home, but it’s a great idea for all you fungi-lovers. It’s great to teach the kids how mushrooms grow and they get to see the progress each day.
6. Make a sensory garden
Most gardens are already “sensory” in nature, but you can kick it up a notch by including plants that particularly stimulate the senses. Lavender is soft to the touch and smells very nice. Peppermint and honeysuckle are fun to taste. Bright sunflowers and marigolds are colorful and cheery. I also like the idea of adding decorative rocks and sculptures that are kid-friendly and touchable.
7. Make-your-own garden markers
Tons of ideas out there for these. Another craft that can be done inside or out. I always like painting or sharpies, but gluing beads and letters works well too!
8. Track your plant growth
Making a growth chart for each of your plants is an activity in itself. But, beyond this, busting out a ruler and measuring/tracking your plants daily/weekly/monthly is another great way to involve math and science into the fun.
9. More science – check out the bugs!
While doing other activities mentioned, when you see a new bug – talk about it! If you don’t know anything about the bug, or you don’t know much, then this is a great opportunity for you and your children to check out a YouTube video on the insect and learn together.
10. Good ol’ fashioned planting, watering, weeding, and picking
Of course, the basic maintenance of your garden is always an awesome activity. Just don’t forget to talk about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. If you have a vegetable garden (highly recommend!) then ABSOLUTELY encourage the kids to try everything you pick. They will likely enjoy things they don’t normally try because they made it themselves.
Happy gardening! 🌸 🌺 🌹
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