5 Kid-Friendly Gardening Activities for Spring
Spring is a great time of year to introduce kids to gardening. No matter what your experience level, whether you live in a densely populated city or in a more rural area with plenty of elbow room, KidsGardening knows it’s possible to create fun garden-based learning experiences for children. Here are five simple, kid-friendly garden activities that can easily be done at home with limited supplies:
Seed Dissection: Seeds are often so small, it can be hard to imagine what they look like inside. This can be a fun activity to try before you do any planting, allowing you to identify the future roots and leaves within a tiny seed. While lima beans are often the best for this activity, you can try soaking any dry bean you might have in your kitchen pantry.
Seed Viewer: This is a simple, soil-free planting project that allows you to observe how the roots and leaves of a plant form. Like with the seed dissection, beans tend to work best, but you could also try using peas—in fact, it might be neat to try out both and compare how the two varieties grow. Use any clear container for this experiment, from a zip-lock bag to a plastic or glass cup.
Kitchen Scrap Gardening: Growing a new plant from an old one is remarkably simple. From carrots to pineapples to avocados, it’s easy to set up a system that allows these foods to regrow. You can choose a short-term growing experiment (ex: regrowing greens) or something that may last many years (germinating a seed from an old orange and nurturing it as it develops into a citrus tree over time). Similar to the Seed Viewer activity, you don’t need any soil to start regrowing many of your kitchen scraps—though if you want your sprouted avocado pit to turn into a fruit-bearing tree you’ll eventually need to place your growing seed into a soil-filled container.
Container Gardening: Growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers in small containers is a great way to tackle gardening if you don’t have access to outdoor space or live in an area with a short growing season. While you will need soil for this project, you don’t need to have a fancy clay pot for your plants—feel free to start your seeds in empty egg cartons, rinsed yogurt containers, or those plastic bins that salad greens sometimes come in. If you have the space to set up multiple containers, consider focusing on a central theme such as a salad garden or pizza garden.
Seed Balls: Seeds balls are an exciting, hands on, and... messy project, but that’s partly why they’re fun to make! You will need some specific supplies for this activity, including potting soil, clay, and small wildflower seeds (ideally native varieties), but once you have these you can make dozens of seeds balls. After you’ve made your seed balls, let them air dry, then store them in a safe place until you’re able to go outside and plant.
Whether you tackle one of these five projects or come up with your own activity, we encourage you to share how your family is gardening together or creating garden-based activities at home through the Kids Garden Month Contest. Post a photo, video, poem, drawing, etc., on social media using #GardenTogetherAtHome or use the online submission form for a chance to win a variety of garden-themed prizes between now and April 30th.
About KidsGardening: We’ve asked KidsGardening, our partners for the Budding Botanist Grant program, to guest blog this week. We hope their insights will inspire kids to play, learn, and grow through gardening, engaging their natural curiosity and wonder. As a national nonprofit, they offer garden-based activities and lesson plans for children of all ages, as well as grant opportunities for youth gardens across the country.