Easy Gardening Activities for Kids

Let your kids send a message with flowers when you play By the Letter.
Let your kids send a message with flowers when you play By the Letter.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Easy Gardening Activities for Kids get children involved in a healthy project while learning about nature. Teach kids about the way plants grow, or let them help decorate your yard.

You'll have hours of fun watching your kids develop gardening skills and learning valuable lessons at the same time. Easy gardening activities are a great way to teach your kids skills they will use in years to come.

On the following pages, you'll get great ideas for gardening activities that will spark your kid's imaginations.

Good Old Days

Give your kids a history lesson in gardening when you play Good Old Days. Learn this easy gardening activity for kids and appreciate the advances we've made.

Dig It Up

This easy gardening activity teaches kids how to prepare top-quality gardening soil for a healthy garden. Read about Dig It Up, and get ready to get dirty.

Respiring Plants

How do plants breathe? This easy gardening activity helps kids learn how plants live.

Floral Advertising

Teach kids why flowers are beautiful with this easy gardening activity. Observe flowers and insects with your kids when you play Floral Advertising.

Save a Seed

You won't need to buy seeds next year if you teach your kids this easy gardening activity. Learn how to Save a Seed, and propagate your own garden.

Pineapple Party

Have a Pineapple Party and teach your kids how to grow a pineapple tree in your very own home. Get directions for this easy gardening activity.

Such a Sap

This easy gardening activity will have meaning and life for years to come. Plant a tree with your kids when you play Such a Sap.

By the Letter

Create messages in your garden when you and your kids perform this easy gardening activity. Find out how to grow your garden By the Letter.

Plant Your Socks?

Your kids will be stunned at the results of this easy gardening activity. Learn just how many seeds and spores are on the ground when you play Plant Your Socks?

Teach your kids what gardening used to be like. Read about Good Old Days, an easy gardening activity, on the next page.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

Good Old Days

Good Old Days is an easy gardening activity for kids that teaches them the history of gardening -- and that today's gardeners are lucky to live in modern times.

What You'll Need:

  • Sharp rock
  • Digging stick
  • Seeds
  • Clay pots for water

If we need gardening tools, we just pull out our cash and head for the lawn and garden supply store. But it wasn't always so. Not so long ago, our ancestors had to make their own tools, often relying on sharp sticks and stones to help break up the soil.

How to Play Good Old Days:

Step 1: The next time you plant a garden, step back in time a few hundred years. Plant one section the old-fashioned way: Use rocks and sticks for gardening tools, and plant seeds your ancient ancestors might have had.

Step 2: Take it a step further and carry water in clay pots to give your growing plants a drink. You'll get a whole new appreciation for how easy this tough job has become.

Teach kids how to create healthy soil when you play Dig It Up, an easy gardening activity for kids. Read about it on the next page.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

Dig it Up

Dig it Up is an easy gardening activity that teaches kids how to cultivate healthy soil. Use these tips before you plant to pick the perfect piece of soil.

Before you begin:

  • Make sure your garden plot is weed-free.
  • Remove large rocks from your soil before you plant.
  • Add compost or manure to your soil for extra nutrients.
  • Are earthworms a part of your garden? If not, add some.

How to Play Dig it Up:

Step 1: Choose a place that gets six or more hours of direct sunshine each day. Your garden needs that life-giving light.

Step 2: Make sure your plot of ground is near a water source, a hose, or an irrigation spout. Be sure your land is level so water won't run off (taking your seeds and topsoil with it).

Step 3: Make sure the soil is alive -- search for organisms like worms and organic matter like sticks and leaf bits to help feed your crops.

With these tips in mind, you're sure to be a real green thumb!

How do plants breathe? Let your kids learn with the innovative gardening activity on the next page.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

Respiring Plants

Respiring Plants is an easy gardening activity that teaches kids how plants breathe.

What You'll Need:

  • Leafy plant
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Paper
  • Pen

How to Play Respiring Plants:

Step 1: Even though plants don't have nostrils or mouths like people do, they still need to take in air. There's a way to find out how plants breathe. Just take a small plant that has plenty of leaves and place it on an outdoor windowsill.

Step 2: Cover the tops (not the bottoms) of five of the plant's leaves with a thick coating of petroleum jelly. Then, cover the bottom sides only of five other leaves with another thick layer of jelly.

Step 3: Make a chart and keep track of how each leaf looks every day. Watch your plant for a week, and see if you can figure out which side of the leaf needs to be uncoated in order to bring in fresh air.

On the next page, discover why flowers come in a variety of colors and shapes.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

Floral Advertising

Flower Advertising teaches kids why flowers are beautiful.
Flower Advertising teaches kids why flowers are beautiful.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Floral Advertising teaches kids the basics of botany. The color of a flower is like a billboard. But what is it advertising?

What You'll Need:

  • Garden with a Variety of Flowers
  • Notebook
  • Pencil

How to Play Floral Advertising:

Step 1: Look at the different flowers in a large garden. Can you guess what pollinates each kind? If you can't tell, here are some clues.

Step 2: Hummingbirds are attracted to bright red and orange flowers, especially tube-shaped flowers that hang down. Hummingbird flowers offer lots of nectar, but don't have much scent -- birds don't have a keen sense of smell.

Step 3: Bees are drawn toward blue and purple flowers that offer lots of nectar and pollen. They also are attracted to white and yellow flowers, even though they don't see yellow all that well.

Why? Because these flowers may have ultraviolet markings that bees see but we can't! Bee flowers may be wide tubes or flat-landing platforms.

Step 4: Butterflies need nectar, and purple, yellow, or red butterfly-pollinated flowers offer plenty. Such flowers are either long tubes that a butterfly's tongue extends into or flat platforms where a butterfly can land and sip nectar. They are often scented; butterflies have an excellent sense of smell.

Step 5: Moths fly at night, so moth-pollinated flowers are bright white (colors aren't visible at night). Moth-pollinated flowers are often tubular and usually richly scented. Many open only at night, and all offer nectar.

Teach your kids how to Save a Seed, and you won't need to go to the plant store to start your garden next year. Learn Save a Seed on the next page.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

Save a Seed

Save a Seed is an easy gardening activity that teaches kids to plan ahead for next year's garden. Find out how to recycle seeds the natural way.

What You'll Need:

  • Summer plants as they begin to seed
  • Jar, coffee can, or seed pot with lid

How to Play Save a Seed:

Long before there were seed companies, farmers collected the seeds from one season's plants and put them away for the next year's planting. You can do the same thing.

When your plants, or the plants of a neighbor, stop growing and go dormant, gather up the seeds for planting next spring. It's the best way to recycle -- nature-style!

It's easier to grow a pineapple tree than you think. Find out how on the next page.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

Pineapple Party

Pineapple Party is an easy gardening activity that teaches kids to propagate pineapples. Grow your own tangy beauties from just a leaf.

What You'll Need:

  • Pineapple
  • Shallow pan
  • Water
  • Pot
  • Soil

How to Play Pineapple Party:

Believe it or not, you can use the leafy end of a store-bought pineapple to grow a great plant. In fact, it may even triple its size by the time 12 months have passed.

Step 1: Just pick a pineapple with a good, leafy top. Cut that top off, leaving about an inch of fruit attached.

Step 2: Set the pineapple top in a shallow pan, like an old layer cake pan, filled with water.

Step 3: Once it begins to root, plant it in rich soil and keep the dirt moist -- but not too wet. To protect the tropical wonder from extreme cold, bring it inside when the weather drops below 45 degrees.

Planting a tree with your kids is a meaningful experience that's a monument to the passage of time. Get information on planting trees with Such a Sap on the next page.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

Such a Sap

Such a Sap is an easy gardening activity for kids that's great for Arbor Day. Plant a seed of hope with your kids.

What You'll Need:

  • Tree seedlings
  • Small shovel

How to Play Such a Sap:

Hundreds of rain forest acres are depleted every year by greedy corporations or by hungry locals trying to make a decent living. Either way, trees are vanishing, and with those trees, the oxygen supply and animal habitat they used to provide are vanishing too.

You can't always stop deforestation in other countries. But you can help rebuild the ecosystem, starting with your own backyard.

Plant a tree. Buy tiny tree starts or saplings at your local home and garden center, or write to the National Arbor Day Foundation (100 Arbor Ave, Nebraska City, NE, 68410) to buy saplings. The sooner you plant, the sooner we all breathe a little easier.

Let your kids send a unique message with flowers when you play By the Letter together. Learn this easy gardening activity on the next page.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

By the Letter

Let your kids send a message with flowers when you play By the Letter.
Let your kids send a message with flowers when you play By the Letter.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

By the Letter is an easy gardening activity for kids that lets them get creative in the yard. Decide on a message together and then spell it out -- the green thumb way.

What You'll Need:

  • Small section of soil
  • Quick-sprouting seeds
  • Water

Everyone likes to express their own personal style. So why not let your garden speak for itself? The next time you plant quick-sprouting seeds (ask your local outdoor gardening clerk which seeds sprout fastest in your geographic area), spell out just how you feel.

How to Play By the Letter:

Step 1: Plant in the shape of the first letter of your name, your favorite sports team, or even your favorite singer.

Step 2: Take it a step further and plant only seeds that will bloom in your favorite colors. It'll be a garden all your own.

Continue on to the next page for an easy gardening activity that teaches kids just how many seeds and spores are on the ground.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

Plant Your Socks?

Plant Your Socks? You heard right. This easy gardening activity teaches kids about the seeds and spores that live on the ground. Imagine what would happen if your socks started to sprout!

What You'll Need:

  • Pair of old, worn-out tube socks
  • Shallow aluminum foil pan
  • Water

How to Play Plant Your Socks?:

Step 1: Get a pair of old tube socks, and put them on over your shoes. Go for a walk through a field of tall grass and weeds. The best time to do this is in the early fall, but you can try it in spring and summer, too.

Step 2: Carefully take off the socks once they are covered with seeds.

Step 3: When you get home, put the socks in a shallow aluminum foil pan with a little water in the bottom. There should be just enough water to make the socks wet -- no more.

Step 4: Put the pan in a place indoors where it will get plenty of light, and keep those socks moist. In a few days, the seeds that stuck to your socks will begin to sprout.

Step 5: Let your sock garden grow for awhile to see what kinds of plants you have.

For more activities that teach kids about plants, check out:

ABOUT THE ACTIVITY DESIGNERS

Good Old Days by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner HallsDig It Up by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner HallsRespiring Plants by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner HallsFloral Advertising by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner HallsSave a Seed by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner HallsPineapple Party by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner HallsSuch a Sap by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner HallsBy the Letter by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner Halls