Kids Spring Gardening Project
Kids love to garden too and what better way to help them learn about pollinators, seeds and nature than hands on in fresh soil.
One of the best memories I have of gardening with the kids was starting seeds or painting clay pots to start their own flower gardens. It was something that could be done indoors or out on the verandah in the sunshine early in the spring. Try it as a fun kids class at 4H, school or weekend home activity for any age group.
Craft paint or markers were used to decorate pots. Other craft supplies like felt and pom-poms were used up from old craft bins. Yarn, bows and buttons, anything that was in the bin was fair game with a little bit of glue and a lot of imagination.
For this kids workshop we would often use Calendula seeds as they are large enough for any child to handle easily and the shape and texture of the seeds prompted questions and curiosity from both kids as well as adults.
The container for planting could be anything ~ recycled containers, pots from the greenhouse or even cups. We would place the soil in a large tub and let the kids fill their pots with lightly pre-dampened seed starting mix to half inch from the top of the container. They can pat down the soil and then create a half inch deep hole into the soil with their finger. The large seeds are dropped into 2 or 3 holes per 6" pot, covered with a pinch more soil and patted down again.
A light gentle watering and then the pots could be covered to help retain moisture as the seeds germinated. We used recycled plastic pop bottles cut in half or a small plastic bag to act as a tiny greenhouse. The small pot could be placed in a warm windowsill onto a plate or jar lid to avoid water damage on the ledge. The warmth of the sunshine helped the small seeds to germinate.
Recycled pop bottles.
It is important to not over water and once the small plants have started to grow up through the soil surface, the covers can be removed and the seedling watered as needed.
Plastic covering for seed germination. Seeds will germinate in 7-10 days.
This plant will soon outgrow its pot and would be best to have the kids 'pot up' the plant to a larger pot, or transplant into a flowerbed once it grows into a hardy size.
Calendula Calendula officinalis
Remember to keep it fun, let them use their imagination to create fun flower pots for special gifts or their own windowsill gardens.