Written by contributor Melissa Allen of Green Owl Art.
It’s an incredible thing to get your children involved in gardening and planting at very young ages. Seeing their wee little hands full of soil, planting seeds and becoming involved and aware of where food and beautiful natural surroundings actually start is such a gift. I think this is the first step in raising earth-conscious and earth-compassionate children. When I see my children covered in dirt, it makes me happy. But more importantly, it makes them happy.
Here in the Northwest, we don’t get outside as often as I would like during the cold months. So I have been working up this idea to keep that planting thought in their head all year-long— even on the very, very rainy days. I decided an indoor garden for our playroom would be wonderful and headed to the hardware store for a few supplies.
Play Garden Materials:
- flexible tubing cut into 3″ pieces (I bought about 3 feet)
- AstroTurf (you usually have to buy a pretty large piece, but even my 1’x6′ piece was only $2)
- cardboard slice same size as the planter
- newspaper/tissue paper
- x-acto knife
- silk flowers (with stems)
1. Fill the bottom of the planter with newspaper and place the cardboard on top. It should be cut to fit very snug on top of the inside rim of the planter.
2. Use the x-acto knife to cut holes the size of the tubing into the cardboard. Then put all your tubing pieces into the holes (these should be very snug as well).
3. Now you want to cut the AstroTurf to fit right on top of the cardboard. I would cut it slightly bigger as it tends to shrink up once the tubes are in place. Lay the turf on top and use scissors to cut an x for each tube as you go. This is the best way I could get an accurate spot cutting. The next time, I may remove the cardboard and cut the turf and cardboard at the same time. The turf sheds a lot when you cut, so have the Dustbuster close by.
4. Once you have all your holes cut and tubes in place, you can tidy up the AstroTurf by the cutting the messy edges. Drop your flower stems into the tubes and they are all ready to be picked and planted! I think I will eventually have to glue everything down. My little one is quite the destructor of all things capable of being destructed, but he hasn’t figured out he can pull up the AstroTurf just yet.
A playroom garden is a wonderful imaginative play opportunity and also great for fine motor skill practice. My two kids picked and planted over and over again.
For more creative idea from Melissa, head on over to Green Owl Art.