Fun Things to Grow with Children
Garden with children is fun and easy
Gardening with kids is fun and teaches them the basic principles of growing fruit and vegetables and how to care for them. You can easily make small projects that they will enjoy and learn through play how easy it is to grow things that are good for them.
Grass stocking heads.
Take a pair of tights or a stocking, place a small amount of grass seed in the end and then pop around 3 handfuls of compost in the toe area and twist the end closed, double the stocking over a couple of times until you have a potato like shape with a small portion of the stocking left over and dangling (approx 8cm's). Stitch buttons on the front as eyes, nose and mouth (or you can draw them on with a marker pen), and place the stocking head in a pot or mug with the leftover piece of stocking inside. This will act as a wick for the water to get to the compost inside. Water well and place in a sunny but not too hot area and within a couple of weeks you should have grass hair growing on your stocking person, make sure you water daily. Of course you make make these into various shapes and designs of your choice and the kids can help. For an extra bit of fun your child can give their own grass stocking head a haircut.....with adult supervision for the little ones of course.
T-shirt tomato or strawberry plants.
Take an old T-shirt and sew the bottom edge and sleeves together. Stitch a coat hanger into the top of the T-shirt where you would normally hang it up from, then fill with good quality compost. You can then plant either strawberries or certain varieties of cherry tomatoes inside the neck part and as they grow they will trail down the T-shirt. Easy to pick and grow plus interesting for the little people in your life.
Sunflowers borders or a Sunflower Fort
Sunflowers are really easy to grow, get very tall and have a lovely happy looking flower that attracts many insects. Start the seeds off in a pot inside in early April, and within a few weeks they will be able to be planted outside. They will flower late June to early July, and brighten up any garden. Your child(ren) can watch them move to face the sun each day and once the seeds have been formed they can be used as wild bird seed or eaten as a healthy snack by your kids.
To build a sunflower fort mark out a large square and plant a row of sunflowers following the edges, don't forget to leave a doorway so the kids can get in. Once it is growing well, throw a blanket on the ground, chuck in some toys and let the kids have fun in their hideaway.
The Amazing Maize Maze.
This one all depends on how much of your garden can be used and your creative skills. Firstly you need to think up a maze design, preferably nothing too complicated, and draw a to scale plan on grid paper. Plant the area with maize or sweetcorn in rows and wait until the plants start to show themselves. Mark out a grid on your maize growing area using strings and pegs and then remove any plants that are where the walkways of your maze will be. This is a time consuming job but worth it. Then all you have to do is sit back and watch as your maize maze grows then let the kids go explore.
Cucumber in a bottle, melon in a box.
If you're growing cucumbers then this one is easy. Once the plant is established and has flowered, gently place the flowering part (with tiny cucumber) into a bottle, being careful not to break the stem. The cucumber will grow inside the bottle. Alternatively you can grow a melon in a perspex box and the melon will actually be forced to take the shape of the box......be creative it doesn't have to be square! Simply follow the instructions as per the cucumber and experiment with different containers.
Take a bean seed (any variety) and soak overnight in cold water. Make a plaster of paris pot with space to add some compost. When set add the compost, water and plant the bean. Then using the plaster of paris again, create a lid directly on top of your plaster of paris pot, about an inch thick. This should set solid and make your pot more of a sold block. When the bean grows it will force it's way through the plaster of paris lid and show just how strong seedlings can be.
And lastly something very simple. Using a plate or small tray grow cress on damp kitchen roll. Keep watered and within days you will be able to enjoy egg and cress sandwiches.