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How to Make an Indoor Herb Garden with Kids

Updated on September 22, 2014

A Perfect Childrens Activity

Recently I have been spending more and more time with my 3 and 5 year old niece and nephew, which has raised a whole new world to me (as a non parent) as to how to keep them entertained. I always try and not use the easy option of plonking them in front of the television as I firmly believe that getting kids to use their imagination and build motor skills is a great way to help them develop lifes necessary skills.

So a cool rainy day presented itself and with it came the building an indoor herb garden with kids challenge. The best way to get kids involved in this type of activity is in the creation of an amazing pot. The actual planting of the herbs is a two minute job. The fun is creating your indoor herb garden masterpiece and then going to the nursery and picking out the herbs we all love.

Here's how we created our masterpiece.

Photo Credits: The Author

What we Needed to Create our Indoor Herb Garden masterpiece

A few simple ingredients and you will find that the children will be fascinated for hours!

Reeves Assorted 12-Milliliter Watercolor Paint, 18-Pack (8493251)
Reeves Assorted 12-Milliliter Watercolor Paint, 18-Pack (8493251)

In hindsight I would have used water colour paints. Easy to clean up and they dry a lot quicker. Just make sure you seal your pot with an acrylic sealant if you want your masterpiece to last.

 
Herb Garden Paints
Herb Garden Paints

What you need and How to get started

As shown above you really don't need a lot for this project, though if you have taken my advice and used a plastic pot (cheaper and not as heavy as ceramic pots) you will need to do some prep work.

I had washed and undercoated the pot about a week before our work of art was to be applied. It helps if your undercoat is dry before you start to apply your masterpiece! I used an old matt white house paint that was laying about in my shed. This project is meant to be cheap and cheerful.

The only other purchase I made was a set of cheap artists brushes, making sure there was enough for the 3 of us. Trouble brews quite quickly with kids if they are left out. Remember where you heard that piece of wisdom! (Uncle Ted knows best.)

I split the pot into 3 sections by drawing a pencilled line down the side. Strict instructions were issued not to cross the line into the others persons section and suggestions were given for what should be painted.

Childrens Activities

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Painted Herb Garden
Painted Herb Garden

Our Masterpiece

Because of our setting, flowers and my house seemed to be favourite additions to our pot. I painted the house (I point that out as you will see that my painting skills are comparable with a 3 and 5 yo child) and the kids painted big bright flowers with the occasional strawberry thrown in (guess what we had for lunch!).

I made sure the kids didn't go home covered in paint by dressing them in my old shirts, though through the error of using oil paints, small hands did have a little colouring when they were returned to mum. Uncle Ted was yet again in the dog house!

Once we had painted the pot all that was left to do was let the paint dry and reflect on our glorious creation.

Once the little people had safely gone, I applied a coat of clear lacquer to protect the paint against any water damage. A quick trip to the nursery saw me get the much requested (and not a herb) strawberry plant, whilst clippings from a mint and basil plant were sourced and planted.

On the little peoples next visit there will hopefully be an abundance of fruit for them to enjoy. Maybe we will have to bake a strawberry cheesecake. Yum. Now there's an idea.

Creating Your Herb Garden in Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Undercoat your pot firstWe had a plan!A few sketches help little people be creative with colours. I can't draw!Our oil paints. My suggestion, use watercoloursStrawberries and a bear. Uncle Ted Bear... Geddit?The final Herb Garden with some chillies in a pot and Bob '2' the Basil plant
Undercoat your pot first
Undercoat your pot first
We had a plan!
We had a plan!
A few sketches help little people be creative with colours. I can't draw!
A few sketches help little people be creative with colours. I can't draw!
Our oil paints. My suggestion, use watercolours
Our oil paints. My suggestion, use watercolours
Strawberries and a bear. Uncle Ted Bear... Geddit?
Strawberries and a bear. Uncle Ted Bear... Geddit?
The final Herb Garden with some chillies in a pot and Bob '2' the Basil plant
The final Herb Garden with some chillies in a pot and Bob '2' the Basil plant

An all in one Herb Garden - Just add paint and little people

Reclaimed Barnwood Planter Box Mini Herb Garden Kit - Grow Cooking Herbs from Seed: Basil, Dill, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro
Reclaimed Barnwood Planter Box Mini Herb Garden Kit - Grow Cooking Herbs from Seed: Basil, Dill, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro

All you will need to supply is the paints, brushes and the little people. Perfect for the window sill of your kitchen.

 
Nellie the Dog
Nellie the Dog

A Quick List of Do's and Don'ts

- Use Watercolours, Don't make my oil paint mistake!

- Seal your fished work with a sealant

- Do a little pre planning. Undercoat your pot!

- Have old clothes or smocks around to keep the kids clean

- Workout a plan with the kids otherwise you will have a multi coloured mess

- Set a few boundaries otherwise there will be a paint fight

- Plant things you know they like, then next time they visit use the herbs/fruit/berries to cook with

-Enjoy!

What 'Crafty' Activities do your children enjoy?

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