Gardening With Kids: 5 activities to spark imagination and creativity

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Gardening can be a wonderful activity for children to spend time outdoors, learn about how plants grow, and experience the interconnectedness of nature. With a little bit of planning, gardens can also be a magical place where children can use their imaginations and be inspired by the beauty that surrounds them. Here are some ideas for making a children’s garden that doubles as a place of learning and a place of magic.

  1. Build a sunflower house. Plant sunflowers in a horseshoe shape, and as the flowers grow tall a great hideout is created.
  2. Build a bean tepee. Use long branches and/or small saplings to build a tepee frame. Wrap the tepee with garden twine horizontally. Be sure to leave a side unwrapped and open as an entrance. Plant pole beans around the outside of the tepee. As the beans creep up the trellis, the tepee becomes a fort that also provides a yummy snack.
  3. Create a story-themed garden. Plant a garden that follows the story of a garden from a favorite book. For example, in The Carrot Seed  by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson, a young boy plants a carrot seed and patiently cares for the plant until it becomes a humongous carrot. For your related story garden, plant carrots, watch them grow, and see if they become giant carrots just like what happened in the story. Check out this month’s Garden Nature Book List to find other stories for garden inspiration.
  4. Plant a meal-themed garden. A salad garden could include various types of lettuce, spinach, kale, radish, carrots, and peas. A pizza garden might have tomatoes, basil, spinach, garlic, pepper, and onion growing. A soup garden could be made up of potatoes, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, and kale. Use your culinary imagination to create a fun, meal-themed garden!
  5. Create a fairy garden. Build fairy houses or even a fairy village. Grow flowers and herbs and ferns and other interesting plants in the garden space around the fairy community. Check this out for some amazing fairy garden village inspiration!
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