When a friend's son came home from preschool enthusiastically telling her about the sunflower seeds he had planted and watered in a little plastic cup, I was inspired to teach my tots about the benefits of gardening. My lil ones know a thing or two about the fruits and vegetables we eat from our frequent trips to the farmers market, but I wasn't sure they knew what was involved in making the food grow. By allowing them to plant and care for the seeds themselves, I thought they would gain a greater appreciation for what ends up on our plates.
Given our limited space and overgrown backyard, I started out with a classic egg carton herb garden. Egg carton gardens require little dirt, no weeding and can fit right on your windowsill for easy watering access. After showing my kids pictures of the full-grown herbs, I allowed them to pick three herbs a piece to plant and nourish in our new garden.
To read how we created the garden,
- First, I cut the lid off the egg carton.
- I had the kids fill each cell of the carton a little more than halfway with potting soil.
- The kids then buried two or three of the same kind of seeds right below the dirt surface in each cell.
- Using popsicle sticks, we labeled each cell with the type of seeds we were growing
- We then gently watered the soil.
- The garden was then set on a sunny windowsill to soak up some rays
- We then watered the soil on a daily basis and watched for sprouts to appear.
- Once the plants grow too large for the egg carton, we can replant them in a larger container.