by Ann Harrison
If you love gardening, and you have kids that love to play outside, then you’ll love these fun gardening projects you can do with your kids. You don’t have to wait for spring or summer to get out into the back yard, there are many different ways you can teach your kids to use their imaginations, and teach them a little about outdoor life, while playing in the dirt.
Turn Homegrown Tomatoes into an Art Form
Do you love the taste of homegrown tomatoes, but don’t have a place to plant them? Well, now you do. You can make inverted tomato planters out of used gallon water or milk jugs. Yeah, you read right, and I’m about to explain just what I mean.
First, wash any used gallon milk or water jugs you have lying around, instead of throwing them away. Note: this will also teach your kids about recycling. Cut the bottom off the jugs, and peal the labels off. If your kids want to get creative, they can paint or decorate the jugs, so that their planters look bright and colorful.
Next, poke a hole in each side of the jug, about an inch from the opening at the bottom. Thread a long piece of twine through the four holes, making sure that the loops you make are equal sizes, to distribute the jug’s weight evenly. You don’t want your plants to list to one side, or fall during the ripening process.
Next, feed a tomato starter into the opening at the top of each jug. The trick here is to start with small tomato starters, to make it easier to feed the leaves and roots into the jug without damaging the plants.
Finally, fill your planter with potting soil, and hang it in either a den, or on your front porch. Be sure to water them often, because they don’t have the luxury of getting moisture from the ground and can dry much quicker.
An Interesting Soil Experiment
Do your kids wonder how soil is made? Here’s a nifty little project that can be fun and educational for your entire family. Fill the bottom of a large Mason jar with potting soil, so that you can’t see through it. Fill the jar with water and cover it well. Let the jar sit, unattended, for a day or two, then allow your kids to see the different layers of soil. The sand, Silt, Clay, and organic matter will be sorted by weight, with the heaviest particles at the bottom, and the lightest ones floating on the surface. Your kids will have a fascinating story to tell their teachers and classmates, when school either starts, or resumes after a break.
Planting Flowers and Making Memories
Here’s a creative way to teach your kids to recognize flowers, and make memories they’ll look back upon, time and again. Place a few seed packets in a manila envelope, and store them inside a blank notebook or diary. As you plant the seeds in the spring, ask your kids to draw pictures of what each flower will look like, after it is fully grown. Also ask then to write down any reasons why they like each flower, or what fascinates them about the unfamiliar plants. When the plants have matured enough to distinguish their differences, try matching the drawings in the journal. Write down any observations you or your kids have made during this project.
A Butterfly Friendly Garden
If you love to watch butterflies fluttering around your yard in the spring and summer, here’s a way that you and your kids can be sure that they flock to your garden in droves. Build a butterfly feeder by filling a jar with bright colorful flowers, the brighter the colors, the better they like them. Add some cotton balls soaked in sugar water, and a butterfly made of plastic or some other synthetic material, to top off your feeder. Butterflies are sure the spread the word through their own special social network.
A Touch of Fall, Any Time of the Year
Want to see a hint of autumn in your home during any other season, but you don’t think you can, because the leaves have turned green with the return of spring? Think again! Here’s a creative way for you to help your kids turn autumn leaves into a work of art.
Ask your kids to gather some leaves of different shapes, colors, and sizes into a small plastic container. Help each child cover a piece of construction paper or any other type of paper, with glue. Glue the leaves in imaginative shapes and color patterns to form a decorative collage. After the glue dries, press the art projects into metal or plastic frames, and hang them in your home, for a piece of autumn that you can enjoy year round.
About the Author
Ann Harrison is a totally blind author, who grew up in the small town of Rochelle, Georgia, and has moved back to her family home after living in North Georgia for several years. Ann has written many articles of general interest for a number of clients since June of 2010, including the Cordele Dispatch. She has also published a short story entitled “The Big Climb” in Awethology Light. Ann also published a story entitled “The Woods” in December Awethology Light Volume by The #Awethors. She is currently working on several novels, and a self-help book. To read more of Ms. Harrison’s inspirational writings, visit her blog at www.wwannwrites.wordpress.com.