Garden activities are some of our favorite things to do. Roo and I created a small garden together with sunflowers, wildflowers, and morning glories. I was surprised at how many teaching opportunities this experience gave us! It’s about 3 foot by 3 foot with a teepee like structure for the morning glories to climb when they fill out. Here are five pictures just a couple weeks a part.
The sunflowers we planted are the “Mammoth” variety so they grow very quickly and very noticeably, making going outside to look at them an exciting adveture every day. Here are lessons gardening with Roo has taught her:
- Simple science of the lifecycle of plants.
- Every living thing needs water, food, and shelter.
- The responsibility of caring for a living thing.
- Simple understanding of the food chain, i.e. plant “eats” soil and sunshine, bugs eat plants, birds eat bugs…
- Patience and dealing with disappointment when things don’t happen as quickly as we would like.
- The beauty and wonder of God’s created world.
Toddlers and preschoolers are not known for their paitence, however. So I have some other garden activities perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!
Garden Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
*affiliate links are included in this post, these are links to products that will help your crafting that will earn me a small comission if you purchase at no extra cost to you!*
I bought these pebbles and rocks at the dollar store and chose the flat and smooth ones. Then we pulled out my trusty oil-paint sharpies to make our designs.
I love the color they add to the garden. Roo likes to play with and organize them.
You can also use acrylic paint if you’re worried about the kids getting the paint on their hands. But you’ll have to seal it with modge-podge to keep the colors from washing away the next time it rains.
You could also make Story Stones and set these in the garden as well!
Save this garden activity for older kids or have the littles help plan the design beforehand.
Get some concrete mix like this and some cheap cake pans. I used marbles and pebbles and beads for my designs. Plan your design first.
Then mix your concrete and pour it into the cake pan. To get a nice smooth look, I had to add almost twice as much water as the package recommended.
While the mix is still wet, place your marbles and things into your design. Let it dry completely (24-48 hours) before turning the cake pan upside down to remove the stone and placing it in your garden.
Pull out your oil-paint sharpies again! Or acrylic paints. And decorate some terracotta pots of all sizes. I like to write cute messages. Roo likes to paint rainbows!
After painting, use the pots for another garden activity.
Terracotta pot windchime
Paint each pot.
Thread the twine through the pots’ hole upside down starting with the largest down to the smallest. Thread a large bead in between each one to keep the pot from sliding to the bottom of the twine.
String decorative beads at the top and bottom of the wind chime.
Make a loop for hanging at the top of the twine.
These windchimes make great gifts for you favorite gardenr too! I did this craft in my DIY Mother’s Day Gifts post.
One of Roo’s favorite garden activities is to play in her play garden. To make one yourself, section off a small plot of yard with ribbon, string, or pieces of wood. Cover the center with newspaper then fill with organic soil. If you don’t have a yard or are just short on space, a large planter works well too!
Buy some kid’s size garden tools like these *affiliate link*and some artificial flowers. Add your painted rocks and stepping stones, pots, and hang the windchime. I found some giant plastic bugs *affiliate link* and added those as well!
Let the toddler or preschooler “plant” their flowers in the pots or the ground and decorate with the rocks and stones. Teach them about the role bugs play in gardens and have them act out each bug’s job.
Want more gardening ideas?
Check out this post from happy science mom