Little Green Thumbs: Gardening Craft Ideas for Preschoolers

Little Green Thumbs: Gardening Craft Ideas for Preschoolers
Spring is in the air, and the soils are ready for planting! Last year, my almost-three-year old begged me to bring him shopping in the flower seed aisle. He picked orange and pink flowers, and we set up a small indoor garden for him. He loved it! Watching plants grow is a fantastic educational experience for children; they get to learn about life, change, and patience!

Here are some gardening projects for your little ones!

Seed paper
Plantable paper is a fun craft to get kids excited about gardening, or to make spring-time gifts! Tear construction paper into small pieces, and soak in warm water for one minute. Blend the paper to a pulp, then mix in flower seeds. Place a cookie cutter on a towel and spoon in a thin layer of pulp. Then use another towel to press out the extra moisture. Allow seed paper to dry over night.

Painted stone markers/decorations
Gather and wash some medium sized stones to make garden decorations. Have kids use finger paints to decorate the stones with garden bugs. Or, paint the stones with flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and use them to mark your garden plot.

Repurposed planters
Get kids into the "green" spirit by repurposing old materials into fun, new planters! Kids can clean out food cans or yogurt cups for small flowers, egg cartons for an herb garden, or old watering cans or rain boots for larger plants. Decorate with paints, stickers, etc., for a truly unique look!

Recycled self-watering planter
Halve a plastic two-liter bottle. Invert the top into the base (the bottle mouth should nearly touch the bottom). Place a coffee filter into the top to keep soil from escaping. Fill with soil, and plant your seeds. Add water to the base as needed and watch as the soil wicks up the water it needs!

Grass-hair friends
Make fun little green-haired buddies. Clean out some old yogurt cups. Decorate with a face and construction-paper clothes. Sprinkle grass seeds into some old nylon-stockings, and fill with potting soil until you have a ball that just fits inside the yogurt cup. Tie off the open end. Tuck the nylon-ball into the yogurt cup with the tied end facing down. Water slowly, and watch the grass hair grow!

Whether you're planning flowers or food for your garden, your kids will have fun getting their hands dirty with these inspired gardening projects.