Have fun with what's your name? and other plant activities for kids!
Have fun with what's your name? and other plant activities for kids!
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Plant activities for kids get children outdoors to explore the natural world. Many of these activities are inexpensive and easy to do but will engage your child in the wonders of learning. These activities are just the beginning for curious children!

Start planting with these fun plant activities for kids:

What's Your Name?

Find out how to grow a garden in the shape of a name, and learn which flower works best for this purpose.

Nature's Perfume

Everyone knows that flowers smell wonderful, but did you know that plants smell lovely, too? Find out which plant smells like peppermint or lemon.

Plant a Rainbow

Coordinate your flowers by color and you can plant a rainbow in your garden.

Bottle Terrarium

Find out how to make a home for your houseplants out of an old, recycled pop bottle.

Popcorn Plants

You can grow a popcorn plant from kernels just like the ones you eat at the movies.

Grass Flowers

Do grasses have flowers? Find out the answer in this fun activity.

Taste Test Garden

When is the best time to harvest your garden vegetables? Why not let your taste buds tell you?

Spell your name in living blooms with the plant activity for kids on the next page.

For more outdoor activities or nature crafts for kids, see:

What's Your Name?

Grow a garden in the shape of your name.
Grow a garden in the shape of your name.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

What's your name? Personalize your flower garden by planting seeds that will bloom in the shape of your name.

What You'll Need:

  • Flower box
  • Soil
  • Pencil
  • Flower seeds (such as Alyssum)

How to Grow a Garden in the Shape of Your Name:

Step 1: Prepare the soil in a large, rectangular flower box or in a garden.

Step 2: Use a sharp stick or pencil to write your name in the dirt.

Step 3: Sprinkle flower seeds in the marks you made.

Step 4: Sprinkle loose soil over the seeds and keep them watered.

Soon, you'll see your name sprouting from the ground in bright green! Keep watering your name, and watch it bloom.

On the next page in plant activities for kids, learn about the scented geranium -- a plant that ranges in smell from peppermint to lemon.

For more outdoor activities or nature crafts for kids, see:

Nature's Perfume

Plants and flowers are nature's perfume. Many plants have flowers that smell good. But some plants have leaves that smell good, too. A good example is the scented geranium. Its scent can range from peppermint to lemon to nutmeg -- even coconut! Say, is that peppermint? Give your nose a treat by planting lovely scented geraniums.

What You'll Need:

  • Potted scented-leaf geranium plants

How to Grow Nature's Perfume:

You can grow scented geraniums in pots indoors, or outdoors in summer. Buy some small potted geraniums at a plant nursery. Be sure to tell the nursery worker that you want "scented" geraniums, because there are many varieties of geraniums that are not scented.

Let your friends sniff them and guess the scents.

On the next page in plant activities for kids, plant a rainbow in your garden by arranging flowers just so.

For more outdoor activities or nature crafts for kids, see:

Plant a Rainbow

Plant a rainbow in your own garden. All you need are the seeds of different-colored plants, including red, yellow, orange, blue, green, and purple -- all the colors of rainbow!

What You'll Need:

  • Garden plot
  • Seeds of annual plants and flowers (see below)

How to Plant a Rainbow:

For your rainbow garden, use seeds of plants in all colors of the rainbow. You can plant different colors of the same plant, or a different plant for each color. You could even plant them in the shape of a rainbow!

These flowers are all summer-blooming annuals that will bloom well in all climate zones:

  • Dianthus, petunia, verbena, and zinnia produce red or pink blooms
  • Calendula, marigold, and zinnia produce yellow or orange blooms
  • Choose any nonflowering, leafy green plant, such as mint, for the color green
  • Dianthus, petunia, verbena, and zinnia produce blue or purple blooms

On the next page in plant activities for kids, find out how to make a terrarium in a bottle.

For more outdoor activities or nature crafts for kids, see:

Bottle Terrarium

Make a terrarium out of an old pop bottle.
Make a terrarium out of an old pop bottle.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

You can make a bottle terrarium -- a habitat for houseplants -- out of old, recycled pop bottles. If you collect wild plants or seeds for your terrarium, be sure to collect on private property with permission only. Never collect plants from parks, state lands, or federal property.

What You'll Need:

  • 2-liter soda bottle with black plastic base
  • Scissors
  • Plants
  • Potting soil
  • Charcoal (the best kind comes already crushed and bagged for houseplants)

How to Make a Bottle Terrarium:

Step 1: Remove the black plastic base from the bottom of your soda bottle and set it aside. This will be the bottom of your terrarium.

Step 2: Use scissors to cut off the top of the bottle just below the "shoulder" of the bottle. When turned over, the bottle forms a clear dome over your terrarium.

Step 3: Sprinkle about 1/2 inch of crushed charcoal in the bottom of the black plastic base.

Step 4: Fill the base with potting soil up to about 1/2 inch from the top.

Step 5: Plant some small houseplants, woodland plants, seeds, or cuttings in the base.

Step 6: Water them until the soil is moist but not soggy.

Step 7: Cover the plants with the clear plastic dome you made from the rest of the bottle.

Step 8: Place your bottle terrarium in a sunny spot and water it regularly.

On the next page of plant activities for kids, you'll find out how to grow a plant from a popcorn kernel.

For more outdoor activities or nature crafts for kids, see:

Popcorn Plants

Popcorn plants are grown right from popcorn kernels. We know that popcorn makes a great snack at the movies. It can also be turned into a plant. No butter is required when you grow this popcorn garden! ­

What You'll Need:

  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bag that zips shut
  • Water
  • Unpopped kernels of popcorn
  • Tape
  • Planter pot
  • Soil

­ How to Grow Popcorn Plants:

Step 1: When you're ready to get popping, put a few paper towels in a plastic bag and soak them with water.

Step 2: Place a few popcorn kernels in the bag so they sit on top of the paper towels.

Step 3: Zip the bag up and tape it to an object (like a fence) where it can get plenty of sunlight.

Step 4: Keep an eye on the kernels over the next week or two. If the towels dry up, pour some more water into the bag until the towels soak it up.

Step 5: Once you see small plants growing, place them in a pot filled with soil.

Keep reading plant activities for kids to learn more about a plant most of us take for granted.

For more outdoor activities or nature crafts for kids, see:

Grass Flowers

Do grasses have flowers? Use your observation skills to learn in the grass flowers activity. What is a flower? It's the reproductive part of a flowering plant. A flower may have anthers that make pollen, an ovary that makes seeds, or both. Plants pollinated by insects have bright petals, but plants pollinated by wind don't need to "advertise." What You'll Need:

  • Grassy meadow that you can visit often
  • Magnifying glass

How to Inspect Grass Flowers:Step 1: Visit a grassy meadow in early spring, just when the grasses form their seed heads. Observe the heads with your magnifying glass. Green or papery structures called "bracts" hold the seed.

Step 2: Return to the meadow until you see small dangling structures sticking out between the bracts. Some are anthers, which make pollen. They hang outside of the bracts so that when they ripen and split open, pollen scatters to the wind.

On the next page of plant activities for kids, find out when the best time to harvest your garden vegetables is (hint: your taste buds will tell you).

For more outdoor activities or nature crafts for kids, see:

Taste Test Garden

Taste test the vegetables in your garden by harvesting one or two before the seed envelope instructions suggest. Use this taste test garden activity to learn more.

Try taking a bite, and see if they're already the way you like them -- extra crispy or fully ripe. How long you plant your vegetables is just a matter of taste!

What You'll Need:

  • Carrot or radish patch
  • Pad of paper
  • Pencil

How to Taste Test Your Garden:

Read your seed envelope instructions. Beginning about one week before your carrots or radishes are supposed to be ripe, pull a single sample and take a healthy bite (make sure you clean the dirt off and rinse the sample first).

How does it taste seven days early? Write it down. How about six days early? Five days early? And so on. When you plant your garden the next year, you'll know exactly how long it takes to grow the garden that you think tastes just right.

For more outdoor activities or nature crafts for kids, see:

ABOUT THE ACTIVITY DESIGNERS

What's Your Name? by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner Halls

Nature's Perfume by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner Halls

Plant a Rainbow by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner Halls

Bottle Terrarium by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner Halls