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Down in the Garden

Activities to Inspire Your Family’s Green Thumb.

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The changing of the seasons from winter to spring awakens an enthusiasm in people of all ages to get outside, observe nature, and dig in the dirt. It’s the ideal time to plan and plant a family garden. If you hope to keep the kids engaged in the garden throughout the growing season, include them from the planning stages. Involve them in decisions about which plants to grow, discussions about what is needed to make a garden work, and how to prepare the garden plots. Here are a few fun activities to get kids engaged in the family gardening projects.

Design A Family Garden Plan

This activity invites your child into the science and math of gardening, in a creative way. Begin with a discussion of the types of plants you want to grow and research the amount of space each plant needs in the garden. Some plants will spread far on vines (cucumber and squash) and some need support to grow high (beans). If you are new to gardening, explore square foot gardens to keep the project manageable. Now get creative with your garden plan.

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To do this activity, you will need:

• Large sheet of paper or poster board

• Ruler

• Pencil

• Black marker

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• Crayons or colored pencils

Directions

1. Provide your child with an outline of the garden plot, drawn to scale.

2. Draw lines inside the plot to divide the garden.

3. Write down the plants that will go in the garden and make a key.

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4. Add plants to plot.

5. Color.

Paint Rock Plant Markers

Kids love to paint rocks! Once you have determined the plants that you will grow and where they will go in the garden, paint rocks to mark their spots.

To do this activity, you will need:

• Rocks (clean and dry)

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• Acrylic Paints (Plaid Apple Barrel)

• Mod Podge Outdoor

• Paintbrushes

Directions

1. Paint images of your garden vegetables on the rocks.

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2. Allow the paint to completely dry.

3. Apply a thick coat of Mod Podge Outdoor to rocks.

4. Allow to completely dry.

5. Place the rocks where you plant the corresponding seeds in your garden.

Sculpt Clay Garden Stakes

Garden stakes decorate spring plants whether indoors in pots or outdoors in the garden. They can be made small or large, depending on where they are going. This activity is perfect for young children as the Bake Shop clay is easy to mold.

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To do this activity, you will need:

• Sculpey Bake Shop clay

• Oven to bake clay

• Wooden skewers for stakes

• Wire (optional)

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Directions

1. Use the clay to sculpt little bugs or critters. Use wire for antennae, if desired.

2. Insert the wooden skewers into the bottoms of the bugs.

  1. 3. Bake according to package directions.
  2. 4. Insert stakes into the garden dirt.

More ways to involve kids in early garden planning.

• Visit the library and check out books about gardening.

• Plant seeds indoors in small cups to transfer to the garden.

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• Grow indoor plants and practice taking care of them.

• Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens or Hudson Gardens.

• Visit a local nursery or the garden section in a hardware store.

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